In this healthy side dish adapted from Food & Wine magazine, quinoa simmers separately, then combines with kale sautéed with onion and garlic. Toasted pecans are stirred in just before serving.

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Active: 20 mins

Ingredients (9)

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, very coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 large kale leaves, any variety, stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a medium pot with a heavy bottom, bring the quinoa, water, and measured salt to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Add the measured olive oil to a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and kale. Use tongs to turn the kale over until it begins to wilt and soften. If the pan starts to look dry, add up to 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, mix well, and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa and the kale mixture to a large bowl and toss to combine. If the quinoa looks a little dry, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Taste, seasoning with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Quickly stir in the toasted pecans and serve.