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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by a kale salad served at The Plant Cafe in San Francisco (the holy land for organic foodies). The Plant's version has large torn pieces of kale with minimal quinoa and I always thought the flavors would be fantastic in a tabouleh-like style. Enter : the cuisinart. My version uses shaved curly kale, finely minced carrots and shallots, doubles or triples the quinoa, and adds the critical new flavor of cilantro. The cilantro adds a wonderfully fresh dimension and really compliments the lemon cumin vinaigrette (which I've also adjusted to include a kick of dijon.)
I love this salad for its versatility, acting as a side or a main. It is vegan, gluten-free, and all ingredients can be easily found organic throughout the year. It is chalk full of super foods - kale, quinoa, almonds, avocado, and carrots and packed with protein. It's the ultimate health food while still being lick-the-plate taste worthy.
Arguably the best part of this salad, however, is how it can make a kale lover out of the most adamant kale skeptics. I've found most people who avoid the leafy green cite it's toughness as their biggest turn-off. This version benefits from the toughness, as only kale can really hold it's own against shredding in a food processor. The resulting kale is both hearty and tender - the perfect yin yang of a dark leafy green.
You can also view this recipe on my blog : http://pinkbrandywine.tumblr.com/post/73025006163/kale-and-quinoa-salad —Casey Tunguz
- 1 bunch Curly Green Kale, washed and ribs removed (or sub dino kale)
- 1/2 cup Dry Rainbow Quinoa, rinsed
- 2 Medium Carrots
- 1 Medium Shallot
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- 1 Ripe Avocado, sliced
- 1 handful Mixed Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 handful Almonds, chopped and toasted for ~2 minutes over high heat in a skillet
- 1 cup Water
Lemon Cumin Viniagrette
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Lemons, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
- Salt to taste
- Cook 1/2 cup dry quinoa in 1 cup water. If you have a rice cooker, use the 'quick' setting. Otherwise, bring quinoa and water to boil in a small pot, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes covered. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing.
- Using a food processor and working in batches (depending on the size of your processor), pulse your kale until shredded into small pieces. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Again working in batches, pulse your carrots, shallot, cilantro, and garlic until finely minced. Transfer to your serving bowl.
- Prepare your dressing by first whisking your olive oil and dijon until completely smooth. Then add your lemon juice, cumin, and salt to taste. (Start with 1/4 tsp of salt and increase from there.) Whisk until blended.
- Add your sliced cherry tomatoes, toasted chopped almonds, and sliced avocado to your serving bowl. Set aside until your quinoa is ready.
- Transfer your cooked quinoa (it's ok if it's hot) to your serving bowl and pour all of the dressing on top. Toss well and serve hot or cold.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens
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