Every week our friends at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City develop a new healthy recipe exclusively for our readers. This colorful plate was created for Nnaemeka Uchegbu from Saint Paul, Minnesota, who is looking for a heart-healthy meal to help balance blood sugar.

This recipe was developed by Olivia Roszkowski, a chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute. In addition to being a beautiful dish packed with vibrant flavors, it also delivers a stellar nutritional composition. Kale is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates and lean proteins such as chicken do not raise blood glucose levels when digested. Quinoa, pistachios, and olive oil contain monounsaturated fats for a heart-healthy boost, as well.

Keep in mind this recipe is versatile and can be adjusted in a pinch. When available, fresh apricots are a beautiful addition, and a little lemon juice and zest can replace the preserved lemon if desired.

Photos by Amanda Jedeikin



  • 1 whole 3 1/2-pound free-range chicken
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 preserved lemon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to carefully cut out backbone of chicken. Rub chicken with spices and olive oil, working extra mixture underneath skin.  Lay ‘butterflied’ chicken skin side up on an elevated rack over a sheet tray. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until skin is crispy and internal temperature reaches 165ºF. (Cook time will vary depending on the size of chicken.)

  2. Rinse and toast quinoa in a small saucepan. Add 1¾ cup water, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes at a simmer, until quinoa is tender. Toss the warm quinoa with apricots, pistachios, shallot, balsamic, olive oil, cilantro, garlic and salt.

  3. Destem the kale and tear into small pieces.  Transfer to a large bowl, add preserved lemon, olive oil and sea salt and massage using hands for 1 minute, or until bright green and tender.

  4. To serve, remove the skin and place a piece of chicken alongside quinoa and kale on a large plate. Spoon over pan drippings over chicken, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Dietary Fiber

6 servings