Quinoa and kale salad is the perfect way to start off the new year. This healthy alternative to heavier meals combines dark leafy greens and hearty grains for a salad with plenty of color and crunch. Pops of apple and pomegranate seeds and sweetness and a tart bite to create a meal with a balanced flavor. Instead of croutons, the granola adds a delicious crunch. You can use your favorite brand whether it be whole grain, gluten-free or packed with dried fruit and nuts. However, keep your eye on the sugar content as you do not want to undo all your hard work. To boost the protein content, serve with grilled chicken, fish or even tofu.
Quinoa and Kale Salad
For the salad:
1/2 cup quinoa
1 bunch dinosaur kale, ribs removed and thinly sliced
1 Pink Lady apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 to 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup your favorite granola
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 small shallot, finely diced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Step 1: Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside to let cool.
Step 2: Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, prepare the other salad ingredients. The easiest way to thinly slice kale is to remove the ribs and roll up the leaves. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the leaves crosswise. You can also do this in a food processor using a slicing blade.
Step 3: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, shallot, olive oil, mustard and Greek yogurt. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, combine the quinoa, kale, apple, pomegranate seeds and cheese. Toss with vinaigrette and garnish with granola.