I love the Kale Quinoa Power Salad at The Candlelight Inn. I’m not alone. Everyone I know is equally enamored. I wanted to create something just as tasty at home so I looked for salads with similar ingredients and found this recipe from Sara Forte of “The Sprouted Kitchen” at Allrecipes.com.
I have to confess that I did not love the taste of raw kale when I first tried it but it seems to help when it’s chopped into small bites as it is here. The sweet, tart, and salty flavors that come from the dressing, the dried cranberries, and the cheese make this recipe a keeper!
Preparing kale for salads and cooking is easy if you know one simple trick. To remove the tough stem simple grasp it at one end with one hand and “strip” the leaves with the other hand.
After stripping the leaves you can stack them on your cutting board. I usually cut them lengthwise into long strips and then cut across the strip to get small pieces of kale.
I added red cabbage, grated carrots, and steamed (shelled) edamame to the recipe. To prepare the cabbage for this recipe and other slaws or salads just cut it in half through the stem, cut each half into quarters, and then you can easily cut the core from each of the quarters. Lay each quarter on the cutting board and slice into thin shreds.
The technique for preparing the Brussels sprouts is the same but on a smaller scale. Of course you don’t need to remove and discard the core.
Here’s another trick I like to use when making salads. I make the dressing in the bottom of my bowl and layer all of the ingredients on top. This saves on dishwashing but it’s also a good technique to use for make and take salads. Put sturdier ingredients in the bottom (everything in this salad qualified!) next to the dressing and more delicate ingredients on top so they don’t get soggy. You can put a lid on it at this point and stick it in the fridge or cooler. When it’s time to serve just toss or if you have a tight fitting lid like I do, turn the bowl upside down and shake until the dressing is distributed. This method also works great for taking salads to work in mason jars.
One benefit in using kale in a salad is that it’s sturdy nature allows this to keep in the refrigerator for several days. I’m having this for lunch almost every day this week and it’s just as good the 3rd or 4th day as it was on the first.
Here is my version of the recipe:
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed and leaves chopped into 1″ bites
- 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, cut in half and sliced thin
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 1/2 small head of red cabbage, sliced into shreds
- 2 cups cooked and shelled edamame
- 3/4 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cups nuts or seeds of choice (I have used pumpkin seeds, sunflowers seeds, and slivered almonds – they’re all good!)
- 2/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Combine dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large salad bowl and whisk until combined. Add salad ingredients to bowl. If serving immediately go ahead and toss. To serve later, cover bowl with tight fitting lid and chill. Keeps for several days refrigerated.
Give this salad a try and let me know what you think!