Quinoa with Kale, Sweet Potatoes & Pecans

“Redeeming the ancients with ageless rhyme jargon
I feel Mexican, hip hop is my garden” – Common (from Invocation)

I’ve been on the hunt for kale recipes because we have a ton of it growing in our little garden. I’ve come to learn that a tiny garden goes a long way. Last fall I planted several kale seeds in the ground and they’ve all sprouted and are flourishing. It’s been awesome not having to buy certain things from the store. Simply walk out into the back yard…
quinoa with kale
While some people may see finding critters like caterpillars in their homegrown veggies one of the downsides to gardening, I was pleasantly surprised to find 3 different fat, green caterpillars munching along our kale leaves. I almost butchered this guy…
kale caterpillar
There are many different greens in this recipe, which I like a lot. I don’t normally cook with leeks, and it’s always nice to experiment with something different.
quinoa with kale2
Sweet potatoes add just the right amount of sweetness to the mix, and quinoa makes it extra hearty. Make it as a side dish, or eat a big bowl of it on its own for lunch or dinner.
quinoa and kale3

Quinoa with Kale, Sweet Potatoes & Pecans
adapted from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and soaked*
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 medium leeks, white parts only, sliced thin
8 to 12 ounces of kale, any variety, stemmed and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 to 3 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup chopped pecans
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste


*Place the quinoa in a medium bowl and cover with warm water. Allow the quinoa to soak at room temperature for 8 – 24 hours. Rinse.

Heat oven to 350° and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the sweet potatoes on the pan and drizzle with coconut oil. Lightly toss to coat. Bake at for 18 – 20 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove and set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and the bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the leeks and saute over medium-low heat until they’re soft and golden. Add the kale and a small amount of water, cover and cook until the kale wilts, about 3 minutes.

Add the celery and scallions, then stir in the cooked quinoa, sweet potato, and cumin. Stir together and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the pecans, season with salt and pepper, and serve.


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