Today brought forth the weather we love. Finally not slipping on my cozy boots, I opted for a sweater and my canvas boots, and went jacket free in our 12 degree weather. The air was fresh, the sky a vibrant blue. Today, as the birds chirped their beautiful songs, was Spring.
I’ve frequently expressed my love for soups and stews in the winter, and today deserved a Spring inspired dish. And because it is St. Paddy’s Day, it needed something Irish-y. I opted for kale. As Irish as I decided to get today.
A salad marked the day, bringing together some parts of Winter and Spring in one.
This warm salad is a marriage of wintry kale, quinoa, tomatoes and peppers, drizzled with hemp oil and a burst of fresh lemon. The combination of flavours meets an equilibrium, balancing rich and subtle tastes all at once.
Quinoa and hemp are both nutrition powerhouses, and adding greens in your diet daily is one of the best things you can do for your body. So do it.
With just a few ingredients and about half an hour, this warm dish makes a perfect lunch for two or side for a couple more.
Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad
for the quinoa:
1 1/3 cup water
2/3 cup quinoa, dry
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
for the kale:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
10 cups kale, thick stems removed, sliced in ribbons (packed)
for the rest of the salad:
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 roma tomatos, cut into chunks
1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, minced (just the whites)
1 large lemon wedge
2 teaspoons hemp oil + more for drizzling if desired
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa, salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Reduce to medium low, cover, and let simmer for about 13 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil for the kale in a large saucepan. Add garlic, and saute for about 30 seconds, then add kale. Saute until softened, until desired consistency, depending how you like your greens.
When both are finished, toss quinoa, kale, tomatoes, pepper and scallions all together. Drizzle with lemon and hemp oil, and season to taste. Divide onto dishes and drizzle with more hemp oil if desired.
This is also delicious served cold.