Kale & Quinoa Salad


Every year there seems to be a new super food being advertised. Last year it was quinoa for obvious reasons. It is high in protein and low in gluten; perfect for those wanting add more protein in their diet and less gluten. The year before it was Swiss Chard. Every cooking show, magazine and blog added Swiss Chard to everything under the sun to boost anti-oxidant potential. This year the super food is Kale. Kale is from the cruciferous vegetable family and it is excellent for those who want to add more fibre to their diets. Not only does it help to reduced cholesterol levels but it is high in anti-oxidant agents. To read more about this super food check out the link I provided.
Kale – super food

I must admit that the first time I ate Kale I did not like it because it was way too bitter and tough for my tastes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind bitter vegetables such as Rapini and Dandelion Leaves but there was something off about this particular dish that did not sit well with me. This summer my parents planted Kale in their garden and since the early fall we have been enjoying this cruciferous vegetable more frequently. Like any other ingredient out there; if you do not prepare it well it will not be edible. Last week, I tried my hand at a Kale & Quinoa Salad inspired by a recipe I found on another blog Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. As the link suggests, I steamed the kale before adding it to the salad because I wanted it to be less bitter and more softer.

1 bunch of kale
1 cup quinoa
2 cups of chicken stock
1 can of black beans
1 red pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp chia seeds
3 tbsp chicken stock
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic mince
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Chop the kale as thinly as you possibly can and steam for 5 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl to cool.
2. In a small sauce pan boil 2 cups of stock and cook the quinoa for 15 minutes on low. Once you see the bubbles on the top of the quinoa you know it is ready. I like to cover the quinoa with a paper towel to absorb the excess liquid.
3. In the same bowl you put the kale in add the rinsed black beans, diced red pepper, diced red onion and the chopped cilantro. Mix gently together.
4. Once the quinoa is cooked add it to the salad bowl.
5. In a small mixing bowl prepare the salad dressing. Add the chicken stock, lime juice, chia seeds, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and olive oil. Mix well and pour over the ingredients in the salad bowl.
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on its own or as healthy side to your favourite protein dish. I paired it with Tilapia that I cooked in the oven.
5 tilapia fillets
2 tbsp soy sauce
juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp cumin
Mix the fish marinade in a small mixing bowl and brush on the tilapia fillets. Preheat the oven to 425F and bake for 25 minutes covered with a tin foil. After 25 minutes, remove the tin foil and continue baking for 15 minutes to brown the tilapia slightly.

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