This recipe was the very first meal I created after giving birth to our daughter. I wanted something super healthy and delicious but also something I could eat with just one hand! I actually doubled the recipe and it was great having extra for lunches throughout the week. I used the vegetables that I had on hand to whip up this salad but you can easily sub with whatever you have available. Just about any type of grain can be used in place of the quinoa. Zucchini, sweet potato, onion and red pepper are all great additions to the salad base. If you want to add even more protein thrown in some cooked chickpeas or other legumes. You really can’t go wrong with this salad.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, stems removed and finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 cup finely chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted pecan, coarsely chopped, optional
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (sub with oregano if you don’t have Italian seasoning)
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Place the quinoa and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, garlic, vinegar, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl toss together the cooked quinoa, kale, carrot, cabbage, cranberries and pecans, if using. Add the dressing and stir to evenly coat.
Serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes approximately 4 cups of salad.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days.