You all know that I love a salad but at this time of year I sometimes fancy something a bit more warming at lunchtime. This warm kale and quinoa salad does just the trick and takes less than 15 minutes to make. If you want to be super lazy, you can even use ready cooked quinoa which is a great staple to have in the food cupboard.
When I’m feeling the need for some vegan or vegetarian inspiration I always turn to Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Her book is packed full of incredible plant-based recipes and tons of advice on following a really clean vegan lifestyle. Not that veganism is for everyone, and nor should it be, but it’s an extremely healthy way of eating so even if you only incorporate one vegan meal into your life every few days, your body will thank you for it.
Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient and can be used in place of rice, couscous or pasta and adapted to any flavour. Just make sure you rinse it before cooking it. The best nutritional advantage of quinoa is its high protein content which makes it an ideal ingredient to use at lunchtime as it will keep you going all afternoon.
I used pine nuts and dried cranberries in this dish but I think it would work equally well with other nuts or seeds and dried fruit. Toasted pumpkin seeds with chopped dried apricots would be nice, or even sliced almonds and raisins. Give it a go, it’s so easy!
Make enough for two and that’s lunch sorted for 2 days.
Recipe for Warm Kale and Quinoa and Salad
- 190g quinoa
- 380mls water
- Large handful shredded kale
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Rinse the quinoa well
- Simmer quinoa and water, covered for 10-12 minutes, until all the water has absorbed.
- Fluff quinoa with a fork
- Add shredded kale and cover for a couple of minutes to allow kale to steam
- Add pine nuts, cranberries, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning.
- Serve warm