Quinoa & Kale Super Salad

COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES    SERVES: 6 AS A SIDE DISH 

I love making this salad a day ahead so that the delicious flavours can deepen with a little extra time in the fridge. I bring it out about 1 hour before serving so it comes  to room temperature - too cold and it can be tasteless!

NUTRITIONAL BITES

Quinoa (pronounced 'keen-no-wah') and kale are both fabulous antioxidant foods that help reduce inflammation and combat cancer.  Not to mention that quinoa is gluten free which is really helpful when you have gluten free guests popping over for a quIck bite.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoons organic coconut oil , divided (I would avoid using extra virgin olive oil as it is too delicate for heating)
1 small onion, minced
2 cups white quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups chopped kale (about 12 ounces)
1 cup of chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
1 tablespoon of carrots, slivered (I use a potato peeler) 
1/2 cup of raisins 
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese - omit if going dairy free 

DRESSING
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons of olive oil 
Celtic sea salt and black pepper

LET'S COOK!

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat just 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes  
  2. Add the quinoa and sauté, stirring, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the water and the kale, bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and pop a lid on
  3.  Cook until all the water has been absorbed which I find usually takes 15 to 18 minutes - you can see the little quinoa 'tails' appear 
  4. Meanwhile it's time to make the dressing and, to keep it simple,  I like to use a small mason jar. Pour the lemon juice and mustard in first, pop the lid on and shake. Next add in salt and pepper and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and shake enthusiastically to emulsify the dressing - I enjoy this 'lymphatic' workout! 
  5. Add in the chickpeas, raisins and pine nuts, drizzle the dressing over the cooled quinoa and ideally, cover and chill completely for 2 or 3 hours.  
  6.  Before serving, use a fork to fluff up the salad and break up any clumps and then arrange on a large platter or serving dish. f you are not going dairy free, shave some parmesan cheese over the top and you are ready to serve