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Baby Kale & Quinoa Bowl

Salads don’t have to suck. For a long time (well before my nutrition career), I believed that salads were a form of self-punishment. I tried to like them. I couldn’t do it.

Later I learned they aren’t so bad, thanks to salad geniuses like my friends at Chop’t Salad Creative Co.Β  But you don’t have to order takeout just to get a good salad. If you think you’re incapable of making an edible salad at home, try this recipe and change your perception. It’s a guaranteed winner-winner salad dinner!

Baby Kale & Quinoa Salad + Honey-Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yields 1-2 servings *If you’re really hungry, I wouldn’t share it πŸ™‚
Ingredients
  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon organic raw honey
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 medium avocado, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
Instructions
For the Kale Chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Rinse and dry kale well. Toss 1 1/2 cups of the kale in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cayenne pepper. Massage the oil and seasoning into the kale leaves.

  3. Divide and spread leaves into two even layers on baking sheets.

    *Note: the more space between leaves, the crispier your kale chips will be. Therefore,Β try to keep overlapping pieces to a minimum.

  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

  5. Gently transfer kale chips with parchment paper onto a cool surface.Β  Allow the kale chips to cool completely.

For the Orange-Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Whisk together orange juice, remaining olive oil (3 tablespoons), honey, and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with remaining salt.

For the Salad
  1. Massage the remaining kale with 1 teaspoon of Honey-Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette. This will serve as your base of the salad. Layer this on the bottom of a salad bowl or large plate.

  2. Toss cooked quinoa with White Balsamic Vinegar. Add the cooked quinoa on top of the kale. Sprinkle chickpeas, cranberries, pine nuts, and avocado.

  3. Top with kale chips, and pour remaining dressing over the salad, or leave on the side.