Quinoa Kale Salad

I am writing a post after several months. I certainly have not, not been cooking (Ah, the wonders of double negatives). In other words, I’ve been cooking but not writing about it. In fact, I’ve managed to stick to my resolution of making new dishes and/or making previously made dishes in a new way as well! So, there’s lots of recipes and posts to catch up on, which I will, slowly!

To re-start, I am back with one of my favorite recipes ever. Hopefully that will make up for the long absence! You can think of this as a salad: it has tons of kale (green stuff!). You can think of this as a cold pilaf – since basically, that’s what it is. It has quinoa, greens, dried fruit and nut. What can go wrong?

Also, it is a perfect summer/fall dish. It works perfectly as lunch, all on its own or as a small plate at dinner.


1 bunch of kale

2 cups of quinoa

Anything else now is completely your choice:

1 cup of dried cranberries

A handful of (roasted) cashewnuts


Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

How to put it together:

  1. Prepare Quinoa: Soak the quinoa for half an hour. Then rinse and thoroughly wash it. Cook it as you would cook white basmati rice: typically takes the same amount of time. Add twice the amount of water, let it come to boil. Let it boil for a few minutes (4-5 minutes), lower the heat and cover the pot most of the way. I like it not covered all the way so the steam can escape. By 16 minutes or so, the lovely strings on the quinoa would have come loose – that’s how you know it’s done. Drain excess water (carefully!).
  2. Prepare kale: Thoroughly but gently clean the kale. Now you have to shred it –  remove the stems. (This is a matter of preference, but I even remove the stems from the smaller leaves if I find them too woody). This takes me a while to do: best sit down and open the chilled bottle of white wine that you know you’ll want to drink with this! (Or chilled wheat Belgian beers: Grimbergen? Leffe Blonde?). Anyhow, remove the stems, shred it – perhaps the photo can show you how small you have to shred it?
  3. Prepare other ingredients: roast the cashew nuts in ghee or the extra virgin olive oil. Grate that cheese. Squeeze the lemon. Grate the black pepper.
  4. Put it all together: wait a little for the quinoa to cool down somewhat. Then, mix the kale gently into the quinoa. Add in cranberries, black pepper, lemon juice, salt, the cheese and mix it all up with a generous dab of EVOO: extra virgin olive oil.
All done! You have a bright salad/pilaf ready. Quinoa has a lot of protein, so it’s pretty filling too – and healthy! I love the fact that this dish has several taste components to it: slightly citrus, the gentle sweetness of the cranberries, the quinoa, the nuttiness of the cashews and the quinoa and light saltiness of the cheese that somehow completes the taste palette. It comes out nicely subtle and balanced!
Enjoy – and don’t forget that glass of pinot grigio, or even a dry riesling. And those folks that will try a Grimbergen or Leffe Blonde for the first time, you’re welcome!
And oh, one more thing: this was inspired by something I had at one of my favorite pizza places (ever) – Fat Cat Pie Co in Norwalk, CT.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Wow this looks healthy and yummy!! Very cool : )

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