Quinoa with Mushrooms Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes I don’t know what’s best for me.  I first learned about quinoa over a decade ago when I was a vegetarian.  I next heard about it when I was low carbing,  Both times the protein heavy grain would have been a good addition to my diet.  Both times I was intimidated by this “new” food and I let that keep me from trying it.


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My first quinoa recipe was a bust almost as if it confirm that quinoa should be intimidating.  It took me months to try it again.  I am just finally getting the hang of it and I’m realizing that I had no reason to be intimidated.  Quinoa is not a direct replacement for rice since it is much mushier, but when you want a different grain it can’t be beat.


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Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Adapted from Real Simple

The original recipe called for white wine but it overpowered the rest of the recipes.  I added a splash of lemon juice and added water instead.  Also, don’t skimp on the pot size for the veggies, I used my largest stock pot and that worked much better than the saucepan I tried to use the first time. and used the large stock pot and that helped with the volume of kale.

 kale Quinoa Mushrooms1

The harvest grains blend is not quinoa.  It wasn’t until my second attempt that I tried the quinoa and I forgot to take an ingredient picture that time!

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water or stock for the quinoa

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into almost uniform pieces

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bunch kale, cut into small pieces and the stem removed

3/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

3/4 cup water

splash of lemon juice

1/4 cup grated parmesan



Note: All recipes say “cook according to package instructions” but since I buy quinoa in bulk, there is no package and no instructions.  So here are my abbreviated instructions, The Kitchn has more detailed instructions. 


1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and set aside.  Use 2 cups of water(or stock) for each cup of quinoa.  Bring the liquid and quinoa to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Once the liquid has been absorbed take it off the heat to stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff the quinoa and then serve.


2. While the quinoa is cooking heat the 2 T olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add the chopped sweet potatoes and quartered mushrooms to the oil and cook for 5 minutes.


3. Add the garlic to the stockpot and cook for an additional minute.


4.  Here is where you’ll be glad you have a stockpot.  Add the kale, 3/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper, 3/4 c water and splash of lemon juice.  Work with the kale to make sure that all of the kale gets to the bottom of the pan and gets a chance to wilt in the hot water.  Also, try to stir the sweet potatoes and mushrooms off of the bottom if to let the flavors incorporate into the kale as well.  Continue to stir for about 10-12 minutes.


5. Combine the cooked quinoa and kale and top with the 1/4 c grated parmesan.  Stir to combine


Nutritionals (serves 4): Cals: 402, Fat: 13, Carb: 61, Fiber: 11, Protein: 17