In honor of the Recipe Redux’s June birthday, I’ve chosen a fellow ReDuxer’s recipe for inspiration. The original recipe is 5-Ingredient Healthy Kale and Quinoa Bowl by Kara Lydon, “The Foodie Dietitian.” I appreciate her straightforward, holistic, plant-based approach to recipe creation that appeals to everyday cooks. Plus, Kara’s photography is beautiful. Her quinoa bowl recipe has just five main ingredients. Love the simplicity!
I went for a breakfast interpretation of Kara’s recipe—aiming to make the recipe in 20 minutes or less, since most of us simply don’t have the luxury of time to whip up a lengthy morning meal. I opted for whole-wheat couscous in place of quinoa to speed things up. I added lemon zest to heighten citrusy goodness and scallions to boost savoriness. I picked some thyme from my building’s rooftop garden to add herbal flair and fragrance. And I topped each bowl with an egg to make it notably breakfast worthy.
So how long did it ultimately take to fix from start to finish? It took 12 minutes for prepping all ingredients and bringing the water to a boil. It took 5 minutes total for the couscous and egg preparation–and then another 2 minutes for stirring, transferring to bowls, and serving. I finished with 1 minute to spare! What if you only have about 5 minutes of freedom in the morning? Make this recipe without the eggs the night before; chill; then in the morning, gently reheat the couscous mixture in the microwave (for moistness, splash a tablespoon water onto each serving before heating) and freshly prepare the eggs. Hint: For a power breakfast bowl, top each serving with two eggs instead of one–or stir some toasted pine nuts into the couscous!
Hope you try both Kara’s and my recipe!
Why it’s better for you: This version and the “before” version are both good for you!
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, extra-thinly sliced (1.5 ounces)
- 3 scallions, green and white parts, minced
- Juice and zest of 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons juice)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1 (5-ounce) package fresh organic baby kale or spinach
- 4 large organic eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the couscous, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, lemon juice and zest, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the thyme leaves, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Top with the kale. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large cast iron or other stick-resistant skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs, increase heat to medium-high, and fry the eggs to desired doneness, about 3 minutes. (Note: Prepare eggs in 2 skillets, if desire.) Season with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Stir together the couscous and kale until kale is fully wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to 4 bowls, top each with an egg, and serve.
Per serving: 330 calories, 12g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 185mg cholesterol, 610mg sodium, 44g total carbohydrate, 9g dietary fiber, 5g sugars, 16g protein
The “Before” Version
Inspired by 5-Ingredient Healthy Kale and Quinoa Bowl
Per serving (based on 4 servings/recipe): 310 calories, 14g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium (estimated), 41g total carbohydrate, 6g dietary fiber, 9g sugars, 10g protein
- When using lemon juice in a recipe, first grate the lemon peel. Use the zest in the recipe for extra citrusy zing; sprinkle it on top in place of something like Parmesan cheese or added salt; save it for another part of the meal; or chill for later use as a refreshing seasoning.
- For added freshness and fragrance, incorporate a fresh herb, like thyme, at the end of nearly any cooking process (or right along with uncooked couscous as it’s done here).
- Fan of a grain recipe? Whether hot or cold, consider transforming it into a breakfast entrée. Just top with an egg or two prepared to your liking for morning-time appeal. You’ll also get a punch of high-quality protein!