Kale & Quinoa Salad with Maple Spiced Nuts

kale salad

This little number is an array of flavor and textures and is convenient to make too. Due to the hearty nature of the kale leaf, you can make this ahead of time and have it sit in the fridge without getting soggy. It’s actually all the better for it if you let it sit and chill together for a while as the flavors get a chance to meld together. I served this up with some raw, grated red beet which added another nice dimension of color and fresh flavor. Make it a meal  by serving with your choice of protein; the flavors of goat cheese or feta would also be awesome combined with the sweet and tart  flavors of this salad.

Ingredients

1-2 pounds kale, based on how voluminous you want your salad to be with greens

1 pint blueberries

2 cups cooked quinoa

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Nuts:

½ cup pecans

½ cup cashews

1 tbs maple syrup

1 tsp olive oil

¼ tsp cumin

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

nuts

1/ To cook the quinoa, place 1 cup dry white quinoa in a pot with 2 cups water, cold. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes until water has absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Allow to cool before adding to your greens.

2/ Rip up your clean kale into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl, whatever you’ll be serving out of.  Massage about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the greens to soften them up a bit. Toss in cooked and cooled quinoa.

3/ Mix up olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a mason jar and shake to combine. Pour over kale and quinoa and toss to combine.

4/ Place your raw unsalted nuts into a pan on low heat. Add in olive oil and spices and toss to combine. When starting to toast, pour over maple syrup and let reduce until nuts are evenly coated. Set aside to cool and place over top salad with blueberries when ready to serve.

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Filed under Entree, Grains, Salads, Veggies

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