5.28.2014

Kale and Quinoa Salad

Yummy Kale meets Yummy Quinoa
This is a new summer favorite!
Kale may be a super food but it can taste really bitter and awful unless you make it into chips or saute it with butter and lots of onions and garlic, thus defeating the point of its health status. I have had qunioa in my house for some time but could never figure out a recipe that looked interesting enough. Finally I saw another post from my favorite cooking blog smittenkitchen and decided to go for it.

I made quite a few adjustments from the original. First the original dressing had no lemon juice and I added it because I needed to give it some punch along with the garlic. Also I don't know where to find ricotta salata in my area so I used Feta instead. Goat cheese or Parmesan will work as well in this recipe. I am not a fan of cherries so I used cranberries, I think dried apricots would work as well.

You can play around with the dressing and salad, just be careful with the dressing you can easily over saturate it.


Ingredients

Salad
1 c uncooked quinoa 
1 1/2c chicken/vegetable/beef broth
8 oz of Kale de-ribbed and coarsely chopped (You can add more, no one is stopping you)
2-3 garlic cloves m
3/4 c sliced almonds (walnuts, cashews, pine nuts will work as well.) 
1 cup dried cranberries chopped up a bit
2-3 green onions sliced
2 tsp fresh dill (optional)
Few gratings of Lemon Zest
1/2 cup feta


Dressing:
2-3 tbls olive oil
1 1/2 tbls white wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic minced
1-2 tbls of lemon juice (depends on your taste)
2-3 tsp dijon mustard (Stone ground or Smooth)
just shy of 1 tsp of honey
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa well in a small colander. Place quinoa and 1 1/2 cup chicken/veg/beef broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer with a couple pinches of salt. 
      1. Cook the quinoa to the directions on your packet. Different brands use varying levels of liquid, I do not know why.
      2. Cooking the quinoa in broth will add extra flavor to the salad.
  2. Simmer at a low temp for 15-20 min until tender. If the quinoa looks wet let it steam on low for another 10-20 min until you can fluff it with a fork (like Rice).
  3. Wash kale and dry it well. Then remove the rib from each stalk, leaving long strips of kale leaves.
  4. Stack the leaves and slice long ways then coarsely chop. Add the kale to a large salad bowl.
  5. Add remaining salad ingredients to kale and toss to mix.
  6. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small dish. Pour the dressing over the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.
      1. Pour Half of the dressing then stir a few times. Then add the rest and stir. Let it sit for 10 min. Taste and add what you think it needs. 
*Cooks Note: Add the feta at the end or allow everyone to add it as they please. If you end up having a lot left over and want to eat it for the next few days add the feat as you go. That way it doesn't sit in the salad and get a little funky.

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