Every once in a while, its time to take a step back and look around. To check in with yourself and see how things are going. I recently stopped and realized that it was time to add a little more simplicity back into my life. Time to let go of certain expectations I’ve been putting on myself with a lot of things, even food. Food doesn’t have to have a million ingredients to taste good.
Less can be so much more. A tomato at it’s peak may only need a small sprinkle of salt and that’s it. Not everything needs 5-10 spices and juices and pans. Simple meals can taste spectacular and hit the spot too.
I’ve also noticed it’s time to lean more into batch cooking. Weeks can get crazy and it may be a few days before I’m really able to make a meal after work. As someone who also repurposes leftovers for lunch, a constant pressure looms over every night. If I don’t cook enough or finish something from the night before for dinner, tomorrow’s lunch will be a mystery. If you work in an office like I do, you know that it’s just so much easier to stay on track with good eating if you don’t just leave it up to chance and eat out.
To adjust, I’ve started prepping more ingredients and meals on the weekends to cover busy moments in the week that would be eased by just heating something up and not cooking for an hour or so.
This Kale and Tomato Quinoa Bowl is a perfect mixture of my two realizations. I purposefully made this simpler than other quinoa salads I’ve put together. I cut down on the amount of spices and ingredients to lessen prep and cook time. You only need one pan (two if you don’t use a rice cooker for quinoa, like I do) and a mixing bowl, so it’s easy to clean up this meal as well. The beans can be canned, saving more prep time.
The recipe also yields quite a bit, making it perfect to eat throughout the week. This quinoa bowl is pretty versatile. You can eat it just as-is, or you can use it as a side dish to any protein or entree-sized vegetable. You could also pair this with other side dishes and make a meal out of side dishes. You can even just put a fried egg on top and call it a day.
I hope this recipe can help you simplify some things in your day-to-day too, and give you more time to enjoy what’s important to you.
- 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
- 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1-2 medium zucchinis (over 5” in length), cubed
- 1/2 - 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1-2 tsp chili powder
- 1-2 tsp paprika
- juice from half a lemon
- salt, to taste
- olive oil
In a large sauté pan, bring 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to medium high heat. Once hot, add zucchinis and cook for about 5-10 minutes.
Add chopped kale, stir to incorporate, and cook until kale is wilted, about 5-10 minutes.
Remove zucchini and kale mixture from heat and transfer into a large mixing bowl. Pour in cooked quinoa, black beans and cherry tomatoes.
Stir throughly to combine and add spices, salt and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste