Quick Nutritious Dinners (and Leftovers for Lunch)


Here are two recipes from a new recipe book released by Douglas & McIntyre last spring. It is full of information and inspiration for eating foods that are nutritional powerhouses. They would be relatively quick to prepare for dinner when you get home late and would travel well to school for lunch the next day.

Cool Quinoa Kale Salad

(Vegan) (Gluten-free)

Firefighter Ryan Chinbo contributed this distinctive, healthy and juicy offering. He and co-workers at the District of North Vancouver Fire & Rescue, Station #1 in Lynn Valley, BC (some of whom are vegans), frequently prepare vegetarian and vegan dishes. You could add other berries in season—raspberries or strawberries would work well. Ryan cools the quinoa in the freezer while chopping the other ingredients, possibly because the fire bell might start dinging at any moment, so he has to work quickly. How exciting!

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) quinoa, well rinsed
  • 3 cups (700 mL) water, plus a pinch of salt
  • 1 English or regular cucumber
  • 1 large orange
  • 4 cups (1 L) chopped kale
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) roughly chopped raisins
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) halved seedless grapes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) raspberry vinaigrette

1. Cook quinoa in salted water. Bring almost to a boil, then cover the pot and simmer about 20 minutes until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed.

2. Dice cucumber. If using regular cucumber, cut in half and remove seeds first.

3. Peel and remove pith from orange, and dice.

4. Steam kale for 2 to 3 minutes, drain well and finely chop.

5. Place cooled quinoa and all other ingredients except the lemon juice and vinaigrette in a large bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over all, dress with vinaigrette and toss well.

Green Eggs

(Vegetarian) (Gluten-free)

Here’s a way to stuff a lot of greens into a tasty and nourishing meal that works well for brunch, lunch or a simple supper. Once the kale and Swiss chard are washed and chopped, it’s a snap to throw everything together and bake it in about 20 minutes. If you grow Portuguese kale, use it here, chopping some of the crispy, tender stems to stir-fry along with the Swiss Chard ribs. To make this recipe truly a one-pot meal, use a large cast-iron pan with a lid so that you can sauté the onions and Swiss Chard ribs and wilt the greens on the stovetop, add the rest of the ingredients, then bake it in the oven. What makes this dish delish is the flavour combination of the nutmeg and cheese—jalapeño Havarti works well because it provides a little added zip. Whichever cheese you choose, however, we know you will like these green eggs here or there, yes, you will like them anywhere. (

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 1 big bunch Swiss chard with ribs
  • 1 big bunch kale
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced onion and/or leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 2 garlic scapes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped chives
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk (or nut, soy or seed milk, sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • A few grindings of pepper
  • 1/2–1 tsp (2.5–5 mL) nutmeg
  • 1 cup (250 mL) grated cheese (jalapeño Havarti or any fairly soft cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

2. Wash greens and leave leaves wet. Strip the Swiss chard leaves from ribs and separate. Chop ribs into 1/2-inch (1-cm) chunks. Chiffonade or chop Swiss chard and kale leaves together. Set leaves aside.

3. On the stove, heat oil in a good-sized oven-proof skillet with lid, stir-fry diced onion and chopped ribs for about 5 minutes, then spread mixture evenly on bottom of pan.

4. Toss in the still-moist chopped leaves and sprinkle evenly with garlic, chives and thyme. If the leaves are on the dry side, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water. Cook long enough to wilt leaves, which should take 5 minutes or less.

5. Meanwhile, mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper and half the nutmeg in a blender.

6. Once the greens are wilted, pour the egg mixture evenly over them. Spread the grated cheese on top and sprinkle the remaining nutmeg evenly over the cheese.

7. Bake uncovered until the centre is solid, about 20 minutes.

Recipes from The Book of Kale & Friends: 14 Easy-to-Grow Superfoods, by Sharon Hanna & Carol Pope.
Reprinted with permission.
(Douglas & McIntyre, www.douglas-mcintyre.com)


This article is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Sept/Oct 2014 issue.

You may also like