I love quinoa & kale. I could eat it 7 days a week and not get bored for a long time. On its own, quinoa is so very versatile. As a salad, kale & quinoa go well with many different combinations and flavors. I like that it is a simple meal, and I can make a huge batch and it lasts for days.
I'd like to share the basic prep method & recipe, plus several variations we have tried. For the main recipe you will need:
1 cup white quinoa (we'll talk about cooking red quinoa below)
1.5 cups cooking liquid-- water, chicken stock, etc
1 bag of chopped kale, or one bunch
kosher or sea salt
|wash & dry the quinoa |
photo from Pinterest Meal:Quinoa post
2 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp honey or Natural Agave Syrup
cracked black pepper
|toast the quinoa before adding liquid|
Add the quinoa to a warm pan and toast for a few minutes while stirring. Toasting the quinoa will make a nice nutty smell. Then add 1.5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock for the most flavor. You can use water, but we prefer stock or broth. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to and simmer covered for 12 minutes.
*Note: White quinoa cooks best with a 1:1.5 quinoa to cooking liquid ratio. I have now learned that despite many incorrect recipes, red quinoa needs more liquid. For red quinoa, use a 1:2 ratio, and add an additional 10min cooking time. I ruined a few batches before finally getting it right.
While the quinoa cooks, mix the dressing ingredients & set aside. Next, start prepping the kale. You will want to remove all stems & rinse. Now comes the fun part. Swirl a little olive oil on the kale and sprinkle liberally with kosher or sea salt. (You'll add more salt than you would normally use when cooking) Take a bunch of kale and rub it pretty vigorously between your hands. Do this repeatedly til you massage the entire batch. The salt will help break down the toughness of the kale and make it a little less bitter. Squeeze the kale lightly after its all massaged to get some of the excess liquid out. Do not rinse the kale!
When the quinoa is done cooking fluff it with a fork. You can cool it down before adding the kale, but it isn't necessary. Add in the dressing & any extra ingredients, stir & enjoy!
Now comes the fun part, all the combinations! We buy our quinoa in bulk on amazon.com & save a ton, and I get to use my Swagbucks gift cards. Hooray cheap, tasty food!
Version 1- basic recipe, and add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2c pecan pieces, and 1/2 c toasted sesame seed nuts. Add a little brown sugar to the dressing.
Version 2- basic recipe and add 1 cup cooked shredded chicken breast, 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds, 4oz fresh sliced button mushrooms. and a splash of extra lemon juice.
Version 3 (pictured)- Use red quinoa instead of white, 1 cup cooked shredded chicken breast, 3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, 4oz fresh sliced button mushrooms, 1-2 chopped gala apples, freshly cut strawberries added just when serving (don't mix in), add a little brown sugar & a splash of rice wine vinegar.
|Red Quinoa, Kale, & Fruit Salad|
*note: we usually add a bunch more cranberries & nuts than the recipe calls for because we like it that way :-)
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