Kale and quinoa tabbouleh salad

Kale & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad | A Dash of Compassion

What a week. While trying to fall back into my regular routine after my whirlwind vacation in Vegas, I came down with a nasty cold. Work piled up on my desk, decisions about more home renovations needed to be made, and I wanted to come up with something to contribute to my father-in-law’s birthday dinner. I feel like I’ve taken quite a hit with this cold, and everyday tasks seem that much harder to accomplish.

Kale & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad | A Dash of Compassion

Healthy, healing food has been my priority this week, so I created this nutritious kale and quinoa tabbouleh salad to take to my in-laws’ house for the big birthday bash this weekend. It was pretty simple to throw together. The only real time investment is cooking the quinoa and lentils, which can be done ahead of time if desired. To make the tabbouleh, I combined the quinoa and lentils along with parsley, celery, green onions, goji berries and tomatoes.

Kale & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad | A Dash of Compassion

I imagined this served on a bed of shredded curly leaved kale. By “shredded,” I just mean that I finely chopped it on a cutting board, after removing the thick stem and spine of each leaf. Of course, any kale or other salad greens will do, but I like curly or red kale because it’s easiest to find. It’s also best to use it within a day or two after purchasing because it tastes bitter the longer it sits around.

For the dressing, I decided to go with something light. Lemon, rice vinegar, garlic, sunflower oil, a touch of maple syrup and salt and pepper resulted in a nice, simple blend with just enough tang. I’ve also recently been adding celery to my dressings because it adds a refreshing yet mild element to the mix. The celery stalks puree quite easily with the other dressing ingredients using a high-speed blender.

Kale & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad | A Dash of Compassion

The salad went over well with the family, and it paired nicely with the delicious quinoa, veggie and tofu casserole my mother-in-law made for part of the main meal.

I have to say, I’m a pretty lucky girl. I’m the only vegan in the family, but everyone seems to eat healthier when I’m around, as vegan options are always incorporated at every meal. My sister-in-law also made the coconut lemon bundt cake from Veganomicon for dessert, along with vegan whipped cream and berries. I wish I had snapped a photo because it was plated so beautifully.

Fresh, spring salads are my favourite way to welcome spring, so I think I’ll be making another batch of this salad for weekday lunches and dinners. Enjoy!

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Kale and quinoa tabbouleh salad

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

Tabbouleh:

    • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (makes 2.5 cups cooked)
    • 1/2 cup dry lentils (makes 1.5 cups cooked)
    • 1/3 cup goji berries
    • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
    • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
    • 2 green onions, sliced
    • 1 tomato, chopped

Kale:

    • 2 small bunches of kale
    • 1/2 lemon

Dressing:

  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil

Directions:

  1. To cook the quinoa, first rinse it thoroughly under running water. Next, combine the dry quinoa with 1.5 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered until all the water has been absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. To cook the lentils, first rinse under running water. Next, combine the lentils and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring the lentils to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 20 to 30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered. Lentils are done as soon as they are tender and no longer crunchy. Remove from heat and strain.
  3. Place the goji berries in a small bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for about 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze out any excess water.
  4. Combine the cooked quinoa, lentils, goji berries and remaining tabbouleh ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. Remove the stems and thick part of the spines from the kale and chop into small, thin pieces (shredded). Place in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the kale (take care not to drop the seeds in!) and massage into kale with your hands.
  6. To make the dressing, blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
  7. To assemble, you can mix the dressing with the tabbouleh and serve it on top of the kale (this is best if serving on individual plates). Alternatively, mix the tabbouleh, kale and dressing all together in one large bowl to serve at a buffet. Garnish with sprouts and hemp seeds, if desired.
      

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4 Responses to “Kale and quinoa tabbouleh salad”

  1. Meg — April 21, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

    Wow! This looks delish. A slick salad that I bet will be even better the following day! can’t wait to try it!

    • Nicole — April 22, 2013 @ 10:02 pm

      Thanks, Meg! It is really good the next day (I had some for dinner tonight!).

  2. jess — April 26, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    yum! i’ve been all over entree salads lately too!

    • Nicole — April 26, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

      Yay for big salads! :)

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