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Kale and Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries

At a  recent food event organized by Melissa’s Produce and Chefs’ Toys, I got to meet Katie Workman, food writer and blogger behind The Mom 100. Katie talked about her career in the food industry, as well as shared her extensive experience about writing her books, developing family oriented recipes for busy cooks, among other valuable information.

We sampled some scrumptious dishes prepared by Melissa’s Produce chefs from the recipes in Katie’s new cookbook, Dinner Solved!. The menu was rather elaborate with deviled eggs 3 ways, prosciutto wrapped shrimp with smoked paprika, honey-glazed carrots, honey-roasted peanut cookies, kale and quinoa salad with dried cherries, and some other dishes we had a chance to try. They all were very delicious but I loved kale and quinoa salad the most.

Two nutrient-dense ingredients, kale and quinoa, paired perfectly in this salad! The cooked quinoa was tossed with copious amounts of fresh herbs and kale leaves, also dried cherries, then drizzled with a simple sauce made with olive oil and lemon juice.

Kale and Quinoa
I had to make that salad back at home. And I did. Sharing the recipe with you today.

Katie mentions in her book that the salad is really fluid, and you can easily substitute ingredients with what you have on hand. If you don’t have the specific herbs called for in the recipe, use others.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries

Or, Katie’s recipe calls for dried cherries, but I made my salad with what was available to me – dried cranberries. I also sprinkled the salad with  feta cheese as Katie suggests in the variation to the recipe.  So good! This is definitely a keeper. Katie’s book is packed with many other fabulous recipes I cannot wait to try and share with you here.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Kale and quinoa salad with dried cranberries is one nutrient-packed salad to savor any time of day. Perfect as a starter salad and even a main dish. You can chop the herbs and kale in a food processor, per the original recipe, but I simply chopped them with a knife, the old-fashioned way.
Recipe type: Salads
Serves: Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish, 3 to 4 as a main
Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used red)
  • 1½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ¾ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups baby kale (preferable; tear and stem the leaves, use leaves only), roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (can substitute dried cherries)
  • Coarsely crumbled feta cheese, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Add the salt and stir in the quinoa.
  2. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, 15 minutes. You will obtain about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
  3. When the quinoa is cooked, transfer it to a large serving bowl.
  4. Add all the greens and stir to combine.
  5. Drizzle over the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss.
  6. Let cool to room temperature.
  7. Mix in the cranberries or cherries, sprinkle with feta cheese, if using, and serve.
Notes

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