I’m always on the look-out for healthy things to feed the kids, but end up being bored hearing about kale. This superfood quinoa and kale salad is a nutrient-packed dish and even better, it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare and you only need one pan.
Every other day there seems to be a new article about the health benefits of this “superfood”—I get it, it’s really healthy (full of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, luetin etc.) but I have to admit that beyond kale chips, I’ve run out of ways to smuggle it into the kids diets. It has become the new broccoli—everyone knows you should eat it but hates the taste.
So, this dish combines kale with another superfood and creates a real tasty winner. The other ingredient is the wonder-grain-du-jour, quinoa. Although technically it is not a grain but a pseudocereal. Who knew?
(By the way, “quinoa” is pronounced “key-nwar” which leads to endless jokes in our house. When I say “endless” I actually mean the same joke repeated endlessly by my husband: any time someone pronounces it the right way, he indignantly and righteously corrects them by saying “Actually, it’s pronounced quin-no-ah!” It’s like Dan Quayle adding an “e” to potato. Only not as funny.)
The kale is steamed on top of the quinoa which means it retains its sulforaphane (a chemical with strong anti-cancer properties). When you boil kale, it reduces the level of sulforaphane and kills a lot of the taste. Steaming it gives you both the benefits and a much better taste.
Anyway back to this salad, as well as being healthy, it is very, very tasty. You can add, omit, or substitute ingredients and I promise it will be good. You can make it nutty by using a sesame or walnut oil instead of the olive oil. If goat cheese is not your thing, you can use feta or blue.
Add balsamic, add cherry tomatoes, add dried cranberries, ask your kids to choose add-ins, customize your kale salad. Here’s the basic recipe that I promise will be tasty and easy, and may become one of your weekday dinners.
One-Pot Superfood Salad with Quinoa and Kale
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of water
- 1 bunch kale, remove the stem and chop into small pieces
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 handful of chives or scallions, finely chopped
- 1 handful of chopped fresh herbs – parsley, mint or cilantro
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- Salt and pepper
Bring the water to the boil, add the quinoa and stir. Let it simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Then add the kale to the quinoa, do not stir it in, just let it sit on top of the quinoa. Cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it steam for a further 5 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, , garlic, scallions, oil, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese.
Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and tip it into the serving bowl with the remaining ingredients.
Toss to combine, season with salt and pepper. Add the remainder of the lemon juice if needed.
Quin-no-ah. You’ll love it!