Archive | September, 2014

Superfoods Kale & Quinoa Salad

One thing I really miss about Memphis is the Whole Foods Salad Bar. I really, really enjoyed a salad several times a week from Whole Foods–the best part for me was always the Kale & Quinoa salad. I never could quite achieve the flavor burst from my kale like those whole foodians.


When I went to brainstorming for my “healthy lifestyles” cooking class I’ve got on the books for the week after next, I kept coming back to my Whole Food’s favorite. Everybody needs a good kale and quinoa recipe in their life right? When it came time to master the quinoa cooking I turned to a trusty favorite, Cook’s Illustrated.


Cook’s Illustrated calls for half the water most recipes do (including the recipe on the back of the packet) which ensure an “al dente” grain and a more nutty flavor that comes from toasting the quinoa first. I made two recipes, one that involved sautéing the kale and one that involved massaging. And the winner is…the raw kale salad.


I like the flavor and texture of the fresh kale over the wilted. If you add your quinoa to the raw kale while still warm then your kale gets all the wilting it could possibly need for a cold salad.


The vinaigrette is the perfect dressing for the flavor punch I’ve been looking for, thanks to minced garlic, fresh herbs and a sprinkle of green onion. Enjoy! 


Raw Kale & Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Seeds & Cranberries
Serves 4
Sweet & Salty cranberries and pumpkin seeds are the perfect addition to this super foods salad. Hearty greens are lightly coated with a garlic vinaigrette and tossed with nutty, toasted quinoa.
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  1. Vinaigrette
  1. 1 T grain mustard
  2. 2 cloves garlic minced
  3. ¼ white balsamic vinegar/ lemon/apple cider vinegar
  4. ¾ cup salad oil (or ½ cup salad oil and ¼ cup olive oil)
  5. 1 T chopped parsley
  6. 2 tsp brown sugar
  7. Kosher salt & cracked pepper to taste
  8. Mix together mustard, garlic, vinegar, salt/pepper, brown sugar and herbs. Slowly drizzle in oil until well incorporated.
  9. Kale & Quinoa Salad
  1. 1 T olive oil
  2. 1 ½ cup quinoa
  3. 1 ¾ cup chicken stock
  4. 5 cups kale, massaged
  5. 1/4 cup cranberries
  6. 2 T pumpkin seeds
  7. 2 T sliced green onion
  8. 5-6 T vinaigrette (above recipe)
  9. 1 T grated parmesan
  1. Massage the Kale with a tablespoon of oil and a pinch of kosher salt for five minutes or until the leaves begin to wilt. Directions: Toast quinoa in saucepan over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until quinoa is very fragrant and smells nutty(5-7 minutes). Season with pinch of kosher salt and cracked pepper. Next add chicken stock and bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 18-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove pan from heat & stir in cranberries, kale, pumpkinseeds, parmesan and 5-6 T vinaigrette.
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