Whether you need a healthy side dish or a light lunch, this Quinoa Salad with Kale and Grapefruit is hearty and bursting with fresh flavors.
Happy New Year everyone! I am back from a long hibernation and have returned to blogging. Although I may not have been writing posts these past 4 weeks, I have been super busy on the blog. You might have noticed that it has a new look. That’s my idea of fun! Plus, lots of back-end work that will make my site load faster and be more use friendly for all of you. All the boring things about blogging, I must confess, so let’s move on and talk food!
The kids and I spent the first two weeks of 2016 sick as a dog. We had that horrible cough that just wouldn’t go away. Until one morning, I woke up and – POOF! It was gone. Perfect timing as I had to prepare a salad to take to my daughter’s school for a staff luncheon.
I typically plan for these meals more than I did last week. I suppose being sick in bed sucks all the motivation out of you. So I woke up that morning refreshed, thanking God that my horrible cough had subsided long enough to not consummate the salad I was making. I surveyed my pantry and was relieved to discover a well-stocked refrigerator. Happily, I was able throw this quinoa salad together pretty quickly.
The beauty of quinoa is that it is gluten-free, filling and packed with fiber and protein. It has a mild nutty flavor and isn’t very overpowering. I love mixing quinoa with fresh produce. Just make sure the quinoa is not over-cooked or mushy and is flakey and cool before mixing it with the other ingredients.
Now before you cringe at the thought of eating raw kale (I know, I was one of those people), there is a secret in preparing kale for a salad. You massage kale with some extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt and let it sit. The kale magically softens.
This quinoa salad with kale is packed with goodies: grapefruit segments, pecans, radishes and fresh mint. It literally took me 30 minutes to prepare this salad. Most of the time was spent waiting for the quinoa to cook and cool. Just goes to show that fresh ingredients can make any simple meal ridiculously good.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cup water
- 6 oz kale, chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp salt, kosher
- 2 medium-sized grapefruit
- 2 oz grapefruit juice
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp mint, dried
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint, fresh, julienned
- Rinse Quinoa with water.
- In a small pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil. When water is boiling, transfer rinsed quinoa and return to boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the water is gone and quinoa is cooked, about 12-15 minutes.
- When quinoa is done, transfer to a mixing bowl and cool to room temperature, about an hour.
- While quinoa is cooling, place kale in a large bowl and using your hands, gently massage kale with 2 TBS olive oil and salt. Set aside.
- Remove peel from grapegruits and gently segment (peel from membranes).
- For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, grapefruit juice, lime juice, honey, mint, salt and pepper.
- When quinoa has cooled to room temperature, mix together with the kale and pecans, radishes, red onions and mint.
- Transfer to a serving dish and top with segmented grapefruit pieces.
- Serve with dressing.
Serving Suggestions: Serve it as a side dish or as a light meal.
Cooking Tips: Mix in leftover chicken or shrimp for more protein.