gluten free · Health · Making + Baking · Paleo

Simple meal-making: Turkey, quinoa, and fresh kale

Turkey Kale Quinoa This new diet has taught me two valuable lessons in cooking, two values I ought to paint on the kitchen walls in red: keep it simple and stick to my roots.

By nature, I don’t like recipes. I don’t like putting things on my shopping list that I can’t pronounce, have never heard of, or don’t normally buy. Or if it’s just too impractical. Like buying a huge thing of sour cream when I only need a tablespoon. What am I supposed to do with the remainder?

When I go wandering into recipe land and try to tackle a recipe with a laundry list of ingredients, I flail. It’s no longer enjoyable. It’s a chore. I just need to stick to my roots and cook accordingly. Not like Martha or a super-foodie. But like me.

browning the turkey

The result is simplicity. On this cleanse, I am allowed so few items that it actually makes meal planning easier, believe it or not. I can have chicken, turkey, and fish; fruits and vegetables; seeds and limited nuts, plus quinoa, coconut milk, olive oil and vinegar. That about covers it.

Having my fill of chicken after the first week, I found a pound of ground turkey to change things up. I really enjoyed the dinner and, with two full servings of leftovers, did myself a favor by cooking up the whole pound. Honey Dude liked it, too but ended up adding some hoisin sauce. He’s a sauce guy.

Adding the greens

The cleanse has me rethinking herbs and spices, that’s for sure. We’re just so used to turning to pre-made sauces and dressings. My friend Jeremy, who puts sauce on 100% of everything he eats, says it’s a moisture thing, not just flavor. And I get that. If I could go back, I’d probably make a spicy coconut sauce to go with this meal.

As it was, I just browned the turkey with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic salt (fresh garlic would have been best), and a generous supply of red pepper flakes, for a little kick.

A bed of quinoa

Then I added my kale and frozen peas, plus a quick sprinkle of the salt. At that time, the red quinoa was hot and ready. After spreading out a bed of the gorgeous pearls, I should have seasoned the quinoa with S+P because the flavor got dulled down a bit after the turkey mixture combined with the flavorless quinoa. Next time…

And then I plated the goods on top for a lovely masterpiece that actually got better as leftovers (probably because I seasoned the quinoa before laying the turkey and greens over top).

Turkey kale quinoa

I hope you find your own kitchen personality and stick with it, too! It’s by far my best kept secret to success in the kitchen. That, and simplicity!

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One thought on “Simple meal-making: Turkey, quinoa, and fresh kale

  1. I was just about to ask what your guidelines were. Thanks for including them. Thanks also for sharing “what you would do differently”. Your blog is genuine and honest. It’s my favorite blog site.

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