This colourful salad was inspired by a similar salad I enjoyed while vacationing in Spain a couple of years ago. We stumbled upon this tiny organic restaurant in Marbella, and with just one look at the menu I was hooked. They grew all of their ingredients in the garden terrace of the restaurant and you could actually see the chef going into the garden and picking the ingredients, while you waited for your food to arrive.
Upon tasting this salad and basically buying everything else off their menu, we went back 3 more consecutive times. The simple ingredients, the zing from the dressing and the crunch after crunch of deliciousness, inspired me to try and recreate it in my kitchen.
And so, this Crunchy Kale Quinoa Salad, is as close as I have gotten to recreating the recipe. Made with simple ingredients that perfectly meld together, this will surely be a win for your special Valentine’s Day dinner (and subsequent dinners thereafter!).
The dressing is made from lemon juice, good quality olive oil and garlic – so simple, yet packed with flavour. The vegetables include fennel, peppers, red cabbage and kale. Fennel alone provides a plethora of benefits, and as such when combined with additional veggies and quinoa, it becomes a super charged salad.
It takes about 20 minutes to put together and pairs perfectly with our Flank Steak in Balsamic Mushroom Sauce. It makes for a great starter and the perfect accompaniment to some warm crusty bread.
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- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (divided)
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Quinoa
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ good quality olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped and core removed
- 1 red or orange pepper, sliced
- ½ cup chopped red cabbage
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- 2 cups finely chopped kale leaves
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Salt & lemon to taste
- Goat cheese (optional)
- Walnuts (optional)
- Bring water to a boil. Add ½ teaspoon salt and quinoa. Cover and cook for 10-15 min (as per cooking instructions on package).
- Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt in a large serving bowl.
- Add fennel, pepper, cabbage, parsley and greens. Toss thoroughly.
- Add cranberries, cheese and walnuts if using.
- Once quinoa is cooked and cooled, place it on top of the dressed vegetables and toss.
- Taste the salad and adjust the seasonings; some extra salt or lemon may be required.