This is the epitome of healthy comfort food: Not only is quinoa one of the higher protein grains, but it is also a complete protein, which means that it provides in a single place all of the essential amino acids we need from dietary sources. Nutritional yeast also adds protein (about 16 grams for the whole recipe) and the kelp provides iodine, an essential and oft-overlooked dietary nutrient that, among other things, supports the thyroid.

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 1/4 cups + 2-3 tbsp water
1 heaping cup finely chopped kale
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp finely chopped basil OR fresh or frozen pesto (the pesto, which is what I used, will add some satiating PUFA’s to the meal)
1 tbsp (or to taste) granulated or finely chopped kelp, dulse, nori, or other sea vegetable
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: avocado slices for serving

Serves: 4


1. Rinse your quinoa in a sieve. Set the quinoa and water on a stovetop to boil, or add the water and quinoa to a rice cooker to begin cooking.

2. When the water boils, reduce to a simmer. Then cook at a simmer with the pot’s lid slightly ajar (so that some air can escape) for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the quinoa is getting plump and fluffy. Quinoa cooking times can vary, but 15-25 minutes is average. You know it’s done when the quinoa is nice and plump and little “threads” have come loose in the grain.

3. Stir in the kale, lemon, nutritional yeast, basil, sea vegetables, and the extra 2-3 tbsp water (or more if your quinoa is especially dry). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Serve warm, topped with some avocado slices for healthy fat and creaminess.