Mexican Kale and Corn Quinoa Salad (Plus a Pregnancy Update)

The first post of this week will feature a recipe. I want to post a workout, but I won’t lie. My workouts are tapering down. This disappoints one part of me, while exciting another.  I can physically continue exercise, but not without bringing on contractions. So, I’ve been doing lots of found exercises throughout my day. A few sets of squats here, some push ups there. Rows, side planks, walking lunges. I’m walking like crazy too. But I do miss my heavy lifting sessions!

Tomorrow I go to the doctor for my 36 week check up, and I’m interested to see if they think I could actually be close to go time. I never went into labor with Isla. Since she was breech, I had a c section. They did tell me the day of the scheduled surgery that I probably would have been in the hospital in labor very soon with the contractions I was having the day she was born, but this pregnancy has just been so different. I feel like I’m getting close to delivery time now, but am I really? You name the pre-labor symptom–I probably have it! And I have for about a week. I would be nervous since I’m not even 37 weeks, but myself and all of my siblings were born 1-3 weeks early and were very healthy. So, we’ll see what tomorrow brings. As long as this baby is healthy, mom is ready!

I’m shocked to say I have barely gained any weight in the last several weeks. I am maybe up 26 pounds now, only one pound in the last several weeks. Again, I would be concerned, but my belly is growing (so clearly the baby is). I am also eating lots, and sometimes, not always the most healthy things. My body is craving all the carbs and while I try to be smart about my choices (and portions), I am indulging a little more.

Some of my favorite foods have been a little more ice cream, Annie’s chocolate bunnies with peanut butter, and I’m also enjoying some kettle corn or veggie sticks (the processed kind, not the fresh kind). I know it’s important the baby grows in these last few weeks, and my body needs the calories to facilitate that growth. So I’m eating up, but it looks like I might not make it to 35 pounds of weight gain. I won’t complain, haha. I thank Isla for keeping me so darn busy!

In this last trimester, I’ve also been struggling emotionally. While I am eternally grateful to be pregnant, I see the finish line and am really looking forward to relishing those baby snuggles, while not feeling the intense pressure of a human being and all that grows with it in my belly. With a history of infertility, I think I will always struggle with the guilt when I think about wanting pregnancy to end. I remember the intense longing for a baby. I wanted nothing more than to be pregnant. And to stay pregnant. To be a mom. In these last weeks, I’ve been trying so hard to acknowledge the gift of being pregnant, while also giving myself permission to feel ready for the journey to be over. I think it’s natural that we’re all ready to not be pregnant anymore. I want to meet our baby. And being pregnant comes with it’s discomforts. I think we’re supposed to want pregnancy to be over, so we will do whatever it takes to birth our babies. This is how I rationalize the back in forth in my brain and heart.

But, enough about the baby on board and mom’s emotions and onto the recipe! This recipe satisfies that carb craving I’ve been dosing. But it’s made using healthy carbs! One of my favorite dinner sides is quinoa with veggies. I usually use whatever veggies are fresh and in season. Some of my favorites from various seasons include kale and butternut squash; spinach, sweet potato, and apple; and this one–kale and corn cut right off the cob.

corn-on-the-cob

This dish incorporates kale from our garden and fresh corn from our farm. Corn has been so delicious in the last month and I’m sad it will be gone soon. Sure, we can get frozen organic corn at the grocery store. But let’s not kid ourselves. Nothing beats some local, fresh corn.

Isla loves it raw. I’ll be shucking the corn and next thing I know she’s reaching for a piece and biting into the sweet kernels, without even cooking them. Yum, yum, yum. For the last three weeks, we have gotten a dozen ears in our CSA share. And we haven’t had an ounce of trouble tucking those ears of corn away, filling our bellies with all that summer veggie goodness.

Isla-corn-on-the-cob

This recipe incorporates some other simple ingredients. It starts with a base of some sauteed onion and garlic. Then the kale and corn. Next comes quinoa and cumin. And finally, it’s topped with some fresh lime juice and crumbled cotija cheese. The cheese is optional, but it takes this dish to a whole new level. I love the salty, strong flavor of cotija cheese. It’s like feta, but in my opinion, even better.

This recipe, like all of the recipes I make, is quick and easy, and healthy! The task that takes the longest is cooking the quinoa. And if you will be short on dinner prep time, you can even make the quinoa ahead of time.

mexican-kale-corn-quinoa-salad

Mexican Kale and Corn Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of coconut OR olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale
  • 2 ears of corn, cooked
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 lime
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool as you begin to cook the veggies.
  2. Chop the onion, garlic, kale, and cut the corn off the cob.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion to pan and saute for 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic to the pan and heat until fragrant.
  5. Add the kale and cook until bright green. Then add the corn.
  6. Once heated through, add the quinoa and cumin. Stir to combine.
  7. Remove from heat and top with lime juice and cotija cheese.

What is your favorite summer vegetable? Share in the comments below. 

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