Hot and Sour Kimchi and Quinoa Stew

Since I started working from home, I’ve developed a minor obsession with lunches that can be pulled together in 15 minutes or less. We don’t usually keep cold cuts on hand, so that usually means some sort of canned fish salad (better than it sounds) or a mishmash of whatever odds and ends I have in the fridge.

Sometimes the mishmash is legit. This was one of those times.

Mix one aging package of Trader Joe’s kimchi — it’s pretty good! — with a container of leftover cooked quinoa, a handful of chopped kale and a swirl of Korean red pepper paste, and cover it all with some water. That’s it: a spicy, sour, warming stew perfect for a rainy day lunch.

A poached egg or some cubes of tofu would make this a more filling option for dinner. Whatever you choose, you’re better off eating this particular stew in the privacy of your own home. Kimchi has the power to make enemies in work kitchens. Of course, if you and your co-workers are already enemies, by all means — fire the next shot with this kimchi-based soup. Or bring a canned fish salad. People love that.

Hot and Sour Kimchi and Quinoa Stew

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

{ Ingredients }

3 cups water
1 cup cabbage kimchi, roughly chopped
1 cup greens (such as kale, chard or spinach), chopped
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 teaspoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), depending on spice preference
2 cups cooked quinoa

{ Directions }

In a medium pot, combine the water, kimchi, greens, soy sauce, ginger and gochujang and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and bring back to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

• If you are using softer greens like baby spinach, add them during the last minute of cooking instead of at the beginning.

• Not all brands of kimchi are vegan/vegetarian, but the Trader Joe's brand is.

• Use tamari to make this recipe gluten-free.