Posts Tagged quinoa

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

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.)

Kale + Quinoa Tahini Salad |

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing


  • 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


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. When the quinoa is fully cooked, set aside until needed.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Happy Lent: Curried Apple Quinoa Salad

Happy Lent, everyone.

(*Yes, I know Lent started a week ago, I just hadn’t gotten around to writing about it until now!)

For those of you who know me (or those who were reading my blog during this time last year), you may remember that Nich and I participated in the Orthodox tradition of Great Lent.

Meaning: for Lent last year, we gave up meat, dairy and alcohol. At first, I was apprehensive. Really, I was terrified. I vowed to give up the things that I loved for a tradition that was not my own. I just wasn’t sure I could do it.

And yet, here I am, a year later…and I’m jumping headfirst into Great Lent.


I can’t really explain it. But I loved it. Mostly, I loved that Nich and I went on a journey together. It wasn’t necessarily an easy journey, but it was good one. We learned, we grew, and we did it together. It was a really fantastic experience. So much so, that I’ve been looking forward to Lent ever since.

I will say, I know that Lent isn’t for everyone. This is simply a choice my husband and I have made for ourselves. I’m not asking you to join us on this journey, but I am hoping that you can support us in ours.

Because, let’s be honest….we could all do with a little less meat and dairy in our lives. So, even if you’re not into the religious component of Lent, I think we can all agree that a little abstaining could do us some good. (On this same note, there’s a great Huffington Post article called “Ash Wednesday is For Everyone.” Very interesting read.)

So, I hope that you can bear with me for the next six weeks while I adhere to my Lenten fast. Don’t you worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere. Of course, I’ll still post new and exciting recipes, they just won’t incorporate meat or dairy! If I can get by without eating these things, you can get by without reading about them. I think that’s only fair. ;)

So, here’s to Lent and the wonderful journey that it is. I’m excited for the challenge! And, I hope that you are, too.

(And in case you’re wondering: I miss cheese the most!)


p.s. The following is a recipe I made up last week, using various ingredients I had around the house. This ‘salad ‘was a wonderful way to transition into my new diet – its bright, flavorful, and filling.

Curried Quinoa and Apple salad

1 Granny smith (or other tart apple), cored & diced
1 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries (raisins would also work well)
4-5 green onions, diced

For the dressing:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
The juice of 1 lime
1.5 tsps curry powder
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, smashed

Cook quinoa according to package instructions (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water). Once quinoa is fully cooked, set aside to cool.

Toast slivered almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Be careful not to burn. Set almonds aside.

Once the quinoa is cooled, toss with dried cranberries, diced apple, green onions, and toasted almonds.

Whisk all dressing ingredients together (or shake in an airtight container); taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Pour over cooled quinoa mixture. Stir, and add an extra squeeze of lime juice over the top of the salad. Chill before serving (the longer the salad rests, the more the flavors meld together).

Beet & Quinoa Pancakes

Forgive me if I sound like a world-class drama queen for a moment…but if I see one more heart-shaped Valentine’s recipe I might claw my eyes out. Just saying.

Its not that I hate Valentine’s day or romance…I don’t. I have a Valentine (husband) whom I love very much, and I’m excited for our quiet night in together. I’m just not a fan of the hearts and the cupids, the pink and the red, the chocolates and the teddy bears. Its just not my thing.

So it is a complete coincidence that this recipe happens to be something that is in the Valentine’s color palette. Yes, the beet quinoa pancakes are a vibrant shade of pink/red. Yes, I am posting them on Valentines day. Did I make them for my Valentine? No. I made them for my friend Mari and then a week later, I made them for my family. So take that for what it is, and lets all put this heart-shaped madness behind us.

Now that I have that out of my system, I can tell you without any hesitation that these pancakes are my new favorite breakfast. I’d seen the recipe a while back and placed them on my list of “things to make” in 2011. I was immediately intrigued by their vibrant color, and when I saw that the recipe originate from Kim Boyce, I knew I had to make them. Kim just recently migrated to the Northwest and is the author of “Good to the Grain“, which is a cookbook I’ve been meaning to check out as I am trying incorporate more whole grains into my diet (and Kim is the queen of whole grains!)

There is only one potential problem with these pancakes: you have to get your hands on some quinoa flour. If you are lucky enough to live in Portland, Oregon, you can get quinoa flour from Bob’s Red Mill (You can visit their store & buy their products in bulk or you can get many Bob’s Red Mill products at Portland area grocery stores). However you come by quinoa flour, I highly encourage that you do so. The quinoa adds a distinct (and wonderful) nutty flavor to the pancakes. In addition, quinoa contains no gluten and is a source of complete protein.

Since the pancakes are made up primarily of quinoa flour (and beets!), they are actually good for you. On top of that, they are really quite pretty. And they taste good! In case you need a little more convincing, I’ll mention that these pancakes contain no gluten and very little sugar. The texture is light and fluffy and the flavors are complex and nutty. The beets add a slight sweetness (and the gorgeous color) that pairs nicely with a touch of maple syrup. My family was slightly skeptical when I announced that I planned to make beet quinoa pancakes for a family brunch (they protested that the pancakes sounded too healthy), but I am happy to say that I made believers out of all of them (even my dad had seconds, which is saying a lot). The beet quinoa pancakes were a hit.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day (or Single Awareness Day or Hallmark Cheesy Holiday or whatever you want to call it…).Lets be done with all this heart-shaped madness, and eat some hot pink pancakes! :)

(Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen)

3 small to medium sized red beets

Dry Mix:

1 and 1/2 cups quinoa flour (available from Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup rice flour (*can use all-purpose flour, but I used rice flour in order to make the pancakes gluten-free)

3 tablespoons dark brown or muscovado sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Wet Mix:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/3 cup plain (non fat) yogurt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 egg


1. Roast the beets, Heat oven to 400 degrees. Trim tops off the beets & wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil. Roast until very tender (prick with a fork or knife), about an hour. Cool, peel, and purée the beets in a food processor or blender until smooth. You will need 1/2 cup of beet purée for the pancakes (any remaining purée can be frozen for later use).

2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, melted butter, egg, and 1/2 cup of beet purée until smooth. Using a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine. The batter should be the consistency of lightly whipped cream and crimson in color.

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with butter. Working quickly, scoop/pour small, flat mounds of batter onto the pan, 2 or 3 at a time. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancakes, flip it over and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown (about 5 minutes total). Keep cooking in batches (buttering the pan between each batch) and cook until the batter is gone. (If the pan is too hot or not hot enough, adjust the temp for consistent results).

Serve immediately with maple syrup and butter (if you so desire).