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Kale and Cranberry Quinoa Salad

 

Yields:  about 5 cups             Prep Time:  20 minutes       Total Time:  45 minutes

 

Sweet cranberries and a tangy lemon dressing come together with cooked quinoa and shredded kale in this refreshing and healthy salad!

 

Ingredients

1 cup red (or white) quinoa, cooked in water according to directions

1 1/2 cups kale

1 teaspoon lemon juice*

1 teaspoon olive oil*

1/2 teaspoon salt*

1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes (or preferred tomato)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese

 

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

*For massaging kale

 

Directions

1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa in water according to directions.  Remove from pan and cool by placing in the refrigerator.  Spreading the cooked grains on a baking pan is a great way to separate the grains and let them cool, preventing them from getting mushy.  It just takes a little more time (and pans)!

 

2. Wash the kale and remove the stem.  Cut into shredded pieces and place into a small bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the kale and gently massage together with your hands.  This helps to soften the kale and make it a little less bitter.

 

 

3. Dice the cherry tomatoes and set aside.

 

4. Prepare the dressing in a small dish.

 

5. In a large bowl, add the cooked and cooled quinoa.  Add the shredded kale, cherry tomatoes, cranberries and Feta cheese.  Using a large spoon or spatula, mix in the dressing.

 

 

6. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

 

I really enjoy a raw kale and cranberry salad from a nearby market.  It is so refreshing, and I just feel good after eating it.  I have tried to get my family on board, and for some reason, they just don’t feel the same way about it.

 

This salad is somewhat inspired from my market favorite, but it has the approval of my kids.  The quinoa not only adds protein and fiber, but also breaks up the kale in the salad.  My little ones do like dried cranberries, so I think that’s part of the reason this works for them.  They don’t really care much for raisins, but are fans of these little red counterparts.

 

 

The acid and tanginess from the fresh lemon juice and apple cider vinegar really complements the sweetness from the cranberries as well as the saltiness from the Feta cheese. 

 

I have a love/hate relationship with tomatoes.  I absolutely love them when they are fresh from the garden and are in bite site pieces.  Equally, they can be extremely unappealing for me when they are mushy and out of season.  That’s one of the reasons I enjoy this salad as a summer dish – fresh tomatoes are in abundance!

 

 

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