Quinoa Salad with Kale from the Garden

New Mexico (yes, sorry, here it is again), inspired me to also eat more vegetarian dishes and to eat healthier.   So now every time I see a vegetarian recipe, I hone in.   Such was the case as I was blog hopping last weekend.   I was intrigued and inspired when I came across Jessica’s recipe for Superfood Salad at Inquiring Chef.

I was excited that I could actually pick enough kale from the hoop house for this recipe.

Fresh picked kale.

Quinoa Salad
inspired by Inquiring Chef who was inspired by Whole Foods Market’s Superfood Salad

1 c. quinoa
1/2 c. dried tomatoes, julienned or chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c. raw baby kale, chopped
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil
Assorted other ingredients*

Cook quinoa according to directions on package.   As soon as it is cooked, stir in the dried tomatoes and let set while other ingredients are prepared.

Cook quinoa and dried tomatoes

In a large sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add kale and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat and toss with the quinoa and dried tomatoes in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Pour dressing over the quinoa mixture.    Toss together.

I added some Kalamat olives. The longer this sets, the better it is!

*At this point you could possible clean out the refrigerator.   Add Kalamata olives, capers, roasted peppers, pickled carrots, poached chicken, etc.     You could also substitute spinach for the kale.

Refrigerate salad for at least an hour, and up to a day, before serving.

Here’s to sharing recipes (thanks for the inspiration Jessica!) and for eating more veggies and whole grains in 2012.   Please check out Jessica’s original recipe, Superfood Salad.

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