I made this salad for our dinner last night. We had the rest for lunch today. Just two of us. Supposedly it serves 6. I am not sure what that says about how much we ate but I have chosen to think that it simply says very plainly that this is one very good salad. It is super-healthy as well as yummy - so you enjoy the food not simply the virtuous feeling of making a healthy food choice.
The original recipe calls for wheat berries but since I am migrating ever closer to the gluten-free line (for simple health reasons - no motivating health 'issues') I chose to substitute super-healthy quinoa. The wheat berries would be very good although chewier. Another good substitution for the wheat would be brown rice or even barley - but both of those might want a little more dressing since the grains tend to soak it up quite well, leaving things sometimes a little on the dry side. If you have some cooked (possibly frozen leftovers from your holiday bird) turkey or chicken, it would be a yummy addition. I liked it perfectly well as a meat-free meal. The quinoa is a complete protein so the turkey or chicken would simply be ... more.
This is fast, super easy, inexpensive, delicious, and healthy. As a post-holiday meal I think it hits every single virtue.
quinoa, kale, & cranberry salad
(adapted from Chatelaine)
3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup dried cranberries
5 cups finely chopped* kale (one small bunch)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
Cook quinoa in 2 1/4 cups water. Combine quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, add the dried cranberries and recover pot quickly. Leave the pot on the burner - covered - for a further 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork. Let cool.
In a large bowl combine the chopped kale, yellow pepper, onion, and cranberry quinoa mixture. In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil, sea salt and balsamic vinegar. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to combine. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.
*I find I prefer kale quite finely chopped when used raw in a salad. Fine chopping will yield about 5 cups of the green from a smallish bunch - if you simply roughly chop it the same bunch will yield a greater volume. (duh) Smaller pieces = more greens = better