Quinoa, Kale and Bacon Veggie Bowl

If anyone has been to the lovely Asheville, NC, you have most likely heard of Tupelo Honey Cafe. It’s a wonderful combination of fresh vegetables and southern flavors with a reasonable price tag. 

Here is our homemade version of a wonderful dish on the menu of the Tupelo Honey Cafe. Of course, being dietitians, we used quinoa instead of grits and baked the okra instead of frying it. We promise, though, the combination of flavors and textures are still there. Not to mention, just like going to the restaurant, it fills you up and you can save half for lunch tomorrow!

Quinoa, Kale and Bacon Veggie Bowl

This recipe, developed by Brittany Chin, RD, and Meaghan Sutherland, RD, recently won the Chef’s Choice Main Entrée award in the Holiday Recipe Contest chosen by Honey Tupelo Cafe's Chef Brian Sonoskus.

Serves 2 or more

10-15 okra, chopped into small pieces
1 egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup quinoa
1.5 oz. goat cheese
4 cups kale
4 slices bacon
1 cup black eyed peas, fresh or defrosted from frozen
½ cup fresh mild salsa
Pepper, to taste
Smoked paprika, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Make the oven “fried” okra. Scramble the egg in a small bowl and place the breadcrumbs in another bowl. Coat a baking pan with a small amount of oil. Using an assembly-line method, take a small amount of chopped okra and dip them into the egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs and place in the baking dish. Continue this process until all of the okra are in the baking pan, and bake on 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until browned.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add in the ½ cup of quinoa, reduce to low and let simmer covered for 10-15 minutes.
  4. While the okra is baking and the quinoa cooking, heat a large pan to medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan, pat with a paper towel and let cool. Add kale to the pan and sauté. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Add in the black eyed peas, pepper and smoked paprika and mix well. Cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Once the quinoa is cooked, add in the goat cheese and stir until completely mixed.
  6. Assemble your veggie bowl by adding a ½ cup of quinoa to each bowl, followed by half of the kale/black eyed pea mix and half of the okra. Top with ¼ cup fresh salsa and 2 crumbled bacon slices.
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Brittany Chin Jones
Brittany L. Chin Jones, MS, RD, LD, is the owner of Blush Nutrition, LLC and the Continuing Education Chair for the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND). Over the years she has served as the Piedmont Dietetic Association president, SCAND PR-Media Chair, and the Communications Chair for the Thirty and Under in Nutrition Dietetics member interest group. Follow her at BrittanyJonesRD.com and on Twitter and Instagram.