A Healthy Start to Spring

As we enter into warmer weather (and I become more pregnant), the need for lighter and healthier foods becomes apparent. I recently had a really delicious lunch at a local restaurant (Printworks Bistro) that inspired me to make this for lunch. It’s very hearty, high in protein, yet light and healthy. The version at Printworks is heavy on the butter so this is a much lighter version.

Ingredients

1 cup cooked quinoa (mixed or black)
1 cup cooked forbidden/black rice
3 cups kale, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 cup chickpeas, canned
4-5 carrots, peeled into ribbons
1 cup cauliflower, cut into florets
Chicken/Vegetable stock (optional)
2 T lemon juice
4 T olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (turning once halfway through). Once slightly cooled, roughly chop into bite-sized pieces.

For the kale, boil some water and add some salt and the kale. Blanch for a few minutes, using a slotted spoon remove kale and place in a bowl of ice water. Once cooled, drain and set aside. (get water boiling while waiting for oven to preheat)

For the carrots, slightly steam the carrots until there is no crunch but it still holds its shape. You don’t want mushy carrots here. Once steamed, sautee in 1 tsp butter.

In a large pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add the quinoa, rice, and kale. Sautee until warm and then add the chickpeas and cauliflower. Cook until warmed. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Make the vinaigrette by mixing the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lightly dress the quinoa/rice mixture until the taste is to your liking.

Plate the dish by spooning mixture onto a plate and then top with the carrot ribbons. There are many components here but the end results is so good.

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