I think I’ve found my summer salad. I’ve eaten this quinoa, kale, cranberry and pecan salad three time this past week…and I’m thinking about making it for lunch tomorrow as well.
I had a hard time getting behind the kale movement – too tough and chewy. Then I found baby kale at the supermarket and it completely changed my mind. It’s more tender than “grown up” kale and easier to eat. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and I look forward to adding baby kale to different salads in the future.
A couple of notes:
Add half the dressing to the chopped kale before you do anything else. This will give the kale a chance to marinate and soften in the dressing.
I’ve noted on previous recipes how to cook quinoa – but in case you missed it – please make sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking. Once you’ve cooked the quinoa, drain the quinoa in a fine meshed strainer and then turn out the quinoa on to a baking sheet to cool – this will keep it from being mushy.
I used plain pecans. I didn’t toast them but you can if you want. You could also use candied pecans if you have a sweet tooth.
I used feta cheese since I love the feta. You could substitute blue cheese if you’re a big fan of blue cheese.
|Quinoa, Kale, Cranberry and Pecan Salad|| |
- 4 cups baby kale
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa - cook quinoa as per the package instructions
- 1 veggie bouillon cube
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove minced or put through a press
- 8 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill
- 1 squeeze of honey - about 1 tsp
- 2 tbs red onion - minced
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- 2 ounces of feta – cubed
- Roughly chop the baby kale and place in a large bowl.
- Whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, black pepper and honey. Pour half of the dressing over the chopped kale.
- Cook dry quinoa according to package instructions. Add 1 veggie bouillon cube to the water.
- Add minced red onion, cranberries, chopped pecans and feta to the kale and toss gently.
- When the quinoa is done and cooled slightly, add it to the bowl with the kale, red onion, cranberries, pecans and feta.
- Toss with remaining dressing and serve.