Welcome to a brand new year! The start of a new year gives us the mental fresh start. I am not one to set new year resolutions, but I do focus on certain objectives for the year. Although I have always focused on a balanced diet consisting of mostly healthy foods throughout the year, the new year is a good time to focus on a few healthy options. Considering we are just coming out of the holiday season where we may have overdone it on the rich foods and delicious desserts. I think this Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad is a perfect option!
I love to eat salads for the main dish, but they must have substance and flavor! I found this Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad over at The Glowing Fridge. The Spicy caught me attention right way. The ingredients in the salad alone are some of my favorites, but the dressing is the key. Be sure to use your favorite hot sauce because that will make all the difference. What I also love about the dressing is there is no oil!
You get great wholesome and healthy ingredients along with amazing flavor and definite spice. I will emphasize the spicy in this salad. Instead of pouring the dressing over the entire salad, you can also serve the salad individually and add just the amount of dressing that you want. My husband likes his food spicier than I like mine, so he had a bigger helping of the dressing than me.
This salad is great vegan/vegetarian main dish salad. The beans and quinoa add great protein. On the subject of quinoa, this enlightening article offers an abundance of information on this super-grain. If you prefer to add even more protein, feel free to add some cooked and diced chicken breast. You can also add different vegetables such as diced avocados, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc. Come to think of it, I am definitely adding some diced avocados when we have this salad again!
Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa uncooked
- 6 cups chopped & de-stemmed kale
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1 15- oz can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice about 2 limes
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 t maple syrup
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 t ground cumin
- salt & pepper to taste
- Prepare the dressing simply by putting all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mixing together. Set aside.
- In a medium pot on the stovetop, add the water & quinoa and cook on medium-high to bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat. Add the black beans & corn to the warm quinoa. Stir to combine to just warm up the beans and corn. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the kale and onion. Add the quinoa, bean & corn mixture. Toss all of the ingredients together to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Alternatively, you can serve in individual bowls and add the desired amount of dressing to each salad bowl.
1/4 c seems like an awful lot of hot sauce–depending on type used. What do you recommend?
I use Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, and it does make the salad very spicy. You can find hot sauces with “Mild” or “Sweet Chili” that are not as spicy. Unless you use a milder hot sauce, try using 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce. I hope you enjoy and find that perfect spice!