I was asked to bring a potluck dish to a blogger potluck party that could be made in under 30 minutes so I came up with a vegetarian Kale and Quinoa Casserole with Chickpeas. It turned out to be popular.
The benefits of eating kale
Kale is one of those foods that’s been trending ad nausea. To be honest, I was almost to the point of never wanting to hear about it again. Anymore, it’s on every restaurant menu in some shape or form. That’s because it’s amazingly good for you.
We grew up with Popeye who was the champion of canned spinach. Spinach is a power food too, but if Popeye carried around a can of kale, he’d send Bluto to the moon.
It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and a generous portion of vitamin K. In addition, it has copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorous. Its antioxidants help prevent cancer, and its lutein and zeaxanthin will keep your eyes bright and healthy.
That’s just scratching the surface. Kale improves blood glucose; lowers blood pressure improves bone health, lowers the risk of asthma, prevents constipation, and helps improve the luster and moisture of your hair and skin.
However, not everyone should eat kale
If you’re taking blood thinners or anticoagulant drugs, like Coumadin, you shouldn’t eat it because it’s high in vitamin K. You also need to stay away from all cruciferous vegetables if you have hypothyroidism.
In my opinion, it tastes better and is easier to digest when it’s cooked. When it’s raw it has a strong flavor and a slightly bitter taste.
In my recipe below, I roasted the kale and then baked it into a casserole. It’s mixed with quinoa, which is an excellent source of vegetarian protein and chickpeas that provide fiber. I’ve also added chopped tomato, Kalamata olives, lemon juice and feta for a tangy and fabulous flavor. Believe me, when I tell you there wasn’t much left at the end of the party.
I hope you enjoy it!
- fresh kale (about 6 oz) stemmed and chopped
- 1 cup quinoa
- 12 Kalamata olives (pitted and chopped) (save the brine)
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 2 plum tomatoes cored and finely chopped (take out the seeds)
- ¼ cup Kalamata olive brine
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 6 oz of chopped feta cheese
- 1¼ cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped kale with 1 Tbsp of the Kalamata olive brine and 1 Tbsp olive oil.
- Spread the kale mixture on a flat baking sheet.
- Roast the kale for about 6 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
- Remove the roasted kale from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Rinse the quinoa and chickpeas.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, chickpeas, kale, remainder of the olive brine, & salt and pepper to taste into a baking dish (8" x 10").
- Grate the zest from the lemon. Add the zest and the water to a small saucepan.Bring to a boil.
- Pour the lemon zest mixture over the casserole.
- Cover the casserole with a double layer of foil.
- Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and fluff the quinoa.
- Add the chopped tomatoes.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon on top of the casserole.
- Sprinkle the casserole with feta cheese.
- Place the casserole back into the oven ad bake uncovered for 8 more minutes until the cheese is heated through.
This <g class="gr_ gr_206 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="206" data-gr-id="206">dish</g> was inspired by 6 Ingredient Recipes from America's Test Kitchen.