Saturday, October 1, 2011

Captivating Quinoa Kale Salad

Here is a salad recipe that goes way beyond the typical iceberg lettuce with croutons and slathered dressing. This Quinoa Kale Salad is nutrient dense, high in protein, low in fat, and contains zero cholesterol.  In fact, the phytonutrients in this salad actually help reduce levels of bad LDL Cholesterol in the body.
Not only is it healthy, it will captivate your senses!  From the tantalizing aromas and beautiful colors, to the subtle play of crunchy and smooth textures, to the delicious flavors tempting your taste buds, healthy eating has never been more delightful.

Quinoa is an ancient grain revered by the Incas as a wonder grain due to its high protein content; quinoa contains all essential amino acids.  Kale is an amazing leafy green typically used as an "inedible" garnish.  Take that Kale out from under your dishes, and get creative with it!  Kale contains high levels of Chlorophyll which is a detoxifying agent and aids in removing toxins and heavy metals from the body, it is high in fiber, it helps increase alkalinity in the body (disease thrives in acidic pH levels), it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and it contains a healthy level of calcium!  You can choose from several varieties, including Dinosaur Kale and Curly Kale.

Lightly cooking the vegetables helps retain all of the valuable phytonutrients and antioxidants; be careful not to overcook.  Shop your weekly farmers markets for the freshest in-season produce in order to support your local farmers and avoid tainted or contaminated produce from commercial suppliers.

Karinna's Captivating Quinoa Kale Salad

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • 4 cups pure water or Vegetable Stock
  • 4 stalks Kale, cleaned, de-ribbed, chopped
  • 6-8 large white button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 small Brussels Sprouts, quartered
  • 1/2 large white Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper to taste
  • diced tomatoes for garnish
Use your favorite organic citrus-ginger dressing, or make your own:
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup water or Vegetable Stock
  • 1/8 cup Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, with the "Mother"
  • 1/8 cup Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Ginger
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
First, prepare the quinoa in your rice cooker with the water or vegetable stock.  The quinoa should be ready within 15 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and place two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the pan.  SautĂ© the Brussels sprouts for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms, garlic, and onions.  Add a dash of salt & pepper to taste. Once the mushrooms become tender after about 3 minutes, add the Kale and stir. Remove from heat and cover.

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until well-blended and adjust the seasonings according to your taste.

Add the cooked quinoa to the vegetable mix in the skillet and fluff it all together.  Transfer to a container and allow to chill in the refrigerator.  Once you're ready to serve, add the dressing and top with diced tomatoes.

Enjoy living and eating healthy and lean!

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