Monday is salad night. So tonight we went tropical. Reminded me a bit of our week in Jamaica, actually. Or perhaps our time in Mexico/Honduras (2 days… 1 in each place. Cruise.) I found this recipe on Pinterest. Big surprise, right? It’s from a website called The Fit Cook. And because I am me, I added kale. Here’s my altered recipe (click on the recipe title to go to the original page). This serves 4-ish.
Tropical Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- about a cup of kale, sliced finely (or in larger pieces if you prefer)
- 1 red onion, diced (I didn’t have an onion, so I skipped it. Still good, but the onion would have been better)
- 1 can corn
- 1 – 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used dry beans and soaked them)
- 1 lime (I just used a very generous amount of juice from a container.)
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 mango (I think I would use 2 mangoes next time)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- To cook the quinoa, bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, plus a pinch of salt, and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pot or a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, kale, onion, corn and black beans, and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion and bell pepper are lightly caramelized and slightly soft. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the lime (or lemon, if you don’t have lime) juice, the remaining olive oil, and the agave nectar. Whisk together and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the bell pepper, onion, corn and beans to the bowl. Add the mango and the cooked quinoa to the bowl and toss. Refrigerate until cooled. Add the cilantro, and serve.
The end! It’s sweet, healthy, and tropical. Perfect one dish dinner.
You may have caught on by now, but I LOVE kale! At our house, we have kale about 5 nights a week. So I need lots of different styles and flavours to keep it from getting boring. Tonight I made a salad with almonds and pomegranate. Yes, pomegranate seeds can be a pain to get out, but it’s so worth it!
Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Almonds
- 1/2 pound kale
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (I didn’t have any on hand, but they would be wonderful!
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- Wash and shake off extra water from the kale. Remove the center ribs and stems; discard. Chop the leaves until fine but still a little leafy.
- Combine the chopped kale, pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds in a large bowl; toss to combine. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar, and olive oil over the kale mixture while continuing to toss. Enjoy!
There are a lot of wonderful ways to prepare kale. I usually saute it with onions and garlic, but tonight I thought I’d try something a little different. I like raw kale, so I found a recipe for a Lemon Parmesan kale salad. So, I tossed in some blackberries and tada! It was excellent.
Blackberry Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad
- 3 cups chopped fresh kale
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan
- a handful of blackberries (as many as you’d like)
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Add kale, blackberries and Parmesan, and toss until the kale is evenly coated. Serve immediately.
Tonight husband and I are having a “gourmet comfort food” night. So since our main dish is a Brie and Fig grilled cheese sandwich with a side of scratch tomato soup, we needed something healthy. And simple. So here is my basic but tasty Italian Salad
Simple Italian Salad
- 8 leaves of Romaine lettuce
- 3/4 of a red bell pepper
- 3/4 of a cucumber
- 1 large carrot, peeled into ribbons (use your potato peeler. Works perfectly)
- 1 can black olives (or calamata olives, if you prefer)
- chop the lettuce into bite sized pieces
- chop other ingredients into desired sized pieces
- mix in a bowl
I topped this off with some red wine vinegar, but you can use any dressing you want. Also, cheese would be grand wit h this, but considering all the wonderful but super unhealthy cheese that’s comprising our main dish, I skipped it in the salad. Enjoy!