Oh, vegetables. I used to love you. Then, I got pregnant and everything changed. I no longer wanted vegetables. All I wanted to eat was chocolate chip cookies and grilled cheese sandwiches.
However, a girl can’t live on chocolate chip cookies and grilled cheese alone. (I mean, technically, I could. But I shouldn’t.) I’ve had to practically force myself to eat vegetables, and it hasn’t been easy. But, just when I thought I might never like vegetables again, I happened upon this kale salad. I don’t know what it was about this particular salad, but it completely snapped me out of my anti-vegetable funk. It just tasted so good. Frankly, I couldn’t get enough of it.
This salad happens to be incredibly good for you. It’s vegan and gluten free. It contains a whole bunch of super foods – kale, quinoa, and cranberries. And, most importantly, it tastes good to this pregnant lady. (For the record, my husband also loved this kale quinoa salad. He ate two bowls of it for dinner one night, and ate the rest for lunch the next day. I’d say it was a hit.)
- 1 bunch of black (dinosaur) kale
- 1-2 small carrots
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 3 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Water, as needed
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- The juice of 1 lemon
- 1.5 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Optional garnishes: red chili flakes or avocado
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. When the quinoa is fully cooked, set aside until needed.
- while the quinoa is cooking, prep the vegetables. Using a sharp knife, slice the kale into thin strips. (No need to remove the stems!) Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrot into thin ribbons. Toss the sliced kale and carrots together, along with the dried cranberries.
- To make the tahini dressing, stir together tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. The mixture will thicken and turn a lighter shade. Begin adding water, a little at a time. Stir until the mixture is light and creamy, and the desired thickness. Stir in honey, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
- Toss the kale mixture with 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa. Pour the dressing over the salad, and stir to coat. Sprinkle the sesame seeds atop the salad. Garnish with red chili flakes or avocado, if desired. Serve at room temperature.