Please forgive me in advance for the iPhone pictures today! But it seems that we’re all on the New Year’s resolution train for healthy eating together, and according to my Instagram blowing up, y’all wanted this recipe.
Presenting the Anti-Super Bowl Recipe:
I wanted to throw something together using what I had last week, and what I had included some (very) baby kale and fresh green onions from the garden, quinoa (a pantry staple), and the last of my Meyer lemons. I figured that all could make a really tasty salad, so I got to work.
Kale and Quinoa Salad
serves 3 to 4
– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 cups water
– 1 bunch kale, washed & torn into bit size pieces
– 1 whole Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
– 2 or 3 green onions, chopped
– 1 slightly overflowing teaspoon walnut oil
– 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
– 1/4 cup SGD Lil Moo Cheese
– salt & pepper
Toast the nuts in a dry skillet, shimmying and shaking it occasionally, until they smell nutty – about 3 or 4 minutes.
Bring water to a boil in a covered pot with a large pinch of kosher salt. Add quinoa, lower heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. After 8 minutes, add the kale. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 more minutes (still covered).
While that’s going on, combine lemon juice, zest, onions, walnut oil, almonds, and cheese. Transfer the kale and quinoa mixture to a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.
Eat. And pat yourself on the back! You should feel very, very pleased with yourself for making such healthy and smart decisions.
As for substitutions, feel free to use collards instead of kale, or some other sturdy green. Use olive oil instead of walnut oil, pine nuts or pecans instead of almonds, red quinoa instead of white. You could sub feta or goat cheese for Lil Moo, or leave out the cheese altogether to make this vegan. You could add some golden raisins or cranberries in there, or dried cherries, if that’s your thing. You could add wayyyyy more greens to make it more of a salad than quinoa. In fact, last night I made another batch, and left out the cheese and onions (it was raining – I’ll explain momentarily) and added leftover lemon sautéed green beans. So good!
In case you’re wondering about walnut oil, it’s delicious! I bought some on clearance at Earth Fare right before I moved from Tallahassee, and I use it very sparingly. It’s a treat! Pecan Oil would be good, too. Since you aren’t cooking it, the flavor of the oil really shines through, so you’ll want to use the best quality oil you’ve got.
You could use any kind of mild onion in this, or leave them out altogether. However, I have a pot full of green onions that are OOC and are always in need to being cut back, so I try to use them every chance I get.
Want out of control green onions, too? Next time you buy some at the grocery store, just don’t use the white root ends, and put them in a jar with a little water. They will root and start growing. Just plant them in a well-drained pot and soon you’ll have a ridiculous-looking pot full of unruly green onions, too. If you’re into that sort of thing.
This was the perfect well-balanced light salad to take to work for lunches last week. It’s good heated back up, but it could totally be eaten cold, too. Or on top of more fresh greens. With a piece of fruit on the side, you’ve pretty much covered all your basic food groups. Especially since quinoa is a complete protein! It’s great as a main dish, or as a light and hearty side dish.
Seriously, I might be making this once a week from here on out.
Happy Healthy Eating!