Lunch Today: Quinoa Chickpea and Kale Salad

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quinoa kale salad croppedThis is a healthy, filling salad. It’s full of flavor and is an easy make-ahead salad that’s perfect for lunch. I make a big batch of this salad on Sunday night and lunch is set for the next couple of days. The best part is that it actually gets better the more days that it sits and marinates in the dressing.

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, but I find it can be tough and a bit too chewy. By doing a little extra prep work, you can soften up the kale and make it easier to eat (see the note at the bottom of the recipe).

Quinoa is a great source of magnesium and manganese, plus a good source of the minerals iron, phosphorous, copper and zinc. It also contains vitamins B2 and E, along with fiber. Quinoa has all of the essential amino acids, so it is an excellent source of protein and an ideal addition to meatless diets, as well as gluten-free diets.

And chickpeas are a good source of protein. They also offer calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium, all of which are cardio-protective nutrients. On top of all that, one cup of chickpeas provides 11 grams of fiber. Fiber helps eliminate toxins and slows the release of complex carbohydrates, resulting in balanced blood sugar over several hours.

Now on to the recipe!

Quinoa Chickpea and Kale Salad

• 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
• 2 cups of vegetable stock
• 2 cups of finely chopped kale*
• 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 3/4 to 1 cup of cooked lentils, or 1/2 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup of shredded carrots
• 1 cup of shredded red cabbage

Dressing:

• 4 Tbs olive oil
• 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
• 1 clove of garlic, minced
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tsp of honey

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions, in the vegetable stock. When the quinoa is done, let it cool on a baking sheet. While the quinoa is cooking, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together.

Add the chopped kale to a large bowl and toss with half of the dressing. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients, cooled quinoa and the rest of the dressing to the bowl with the kale and stir to combine.

How to prepare the kale:
Remove the center rib from the kale and then roll the leaves up tightly into a cigar shape.
Slice the rolled up kale into thin ribbons. Put the sliced-up kale in a large bowl and toss with half the dressing – this will help the kale marinate and soften up so it’s not so tough and chewy.

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August 2019
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