I will be the first person to admit that I haven’t been terribally creative in the kitchen lately. I’ve relied on old favorites and our Hello Fresh boxes to feed Bob and I. Neither one of us is complaining, but I just haven’t made any thing interesting in a while. This weekend, after a marathon of The Great British Bakeoff (which had its name changed for US television to The Great British Baking Show for some odd reason) and with it finally feeling like fall I found some inspiration.
I have a few heavier, comfort food dishes planned for this week, so I decided to start with a lighter salad. But it is fall and that means some of the dark greens, like kale, are in season. I love the magic kale salad but also wanted something light, but packed with goodness. I also found a quinoa salad that looked good, but not exactly what I wanted. So I decided to take bits from each, combine them and experiment.
I started with making the quinoa. I used a sprouted rainbow quinoa since I wanted the color and that is what the grocery had. While that was cooking, I cleaned and chopped half a bunch of kale. I decided to not go for a full bunch since the quinoa would add some bulk to the salad. From there I chopped up a little bit of dried mango (a small handful total once chopped) and a handful each of walnuts and almonds.
For the dressing I use basically the magic make dressing with a few changes – I dropped the balsamic to two tablespoons and added one tablespoon of sherry vinegar. I also used plain rice vinegar instead of seasoned and was generous with the salt and pepper.
Once the quinoa was cooked, but still had some liquid in it, I added about a quarter of the dressing to the pot and mixed it in well. I let that finish soaking while I poured the rest of the dressing over the kale mix and tossed. I let that sit for thirty minutes then added about a cup of the quinoa, tossed again and refrigerated for another thirty minutes. No cheese, no lemon, no herbs for this salad. I figured if I needed to add them in later, I could.
I loved this result and I didn’t miss the cheese, although I do love the creaminess it gives in the original magic kale salad. The sherry added the right note and the dried mango was a nice change from the cranberries I usually use. A good transition salad for summer to fall.
- 1/2 bunch kale, chopped
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ~1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- ~1/4 cup chopped almonds
- ~1/4 cup chopped, dried fruit
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the quinoa
Chopp the kale, dried fruit and nuts. Mix together in a bowl.
My the remaining ingredients to make the vinegrette. Once the quinoa comes off the heat, pour in about 1/4 of the vinegrette and mix well. Cover, off heat, until done. Fluff with a fork.
Mix the remaining vinegrette in the kale salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate for thirty minutes. Add the quinoa, toss again and refrigerate for another thirty minutes. Serve immediately.