Last night I didn’t have time to stop at the grocery store on my way home as planned so I had to make do with whatever I had on hand in my fridge. Lucky for me, my new vegetarian self (more on that later) had packed my fridge full of superfoods such as kale and baby spinach. I decided to use that along with some other ingredients I had on hand to make what is pretty much a superfood trifecta: a warm salad with kale, quinoa and chickpeas.
The quantities in this recipe are approximate; since it’s a salad you can add as little or as much of any of the ingredients as you want. You can even leave some out altogether or add some others not mentioned to suit your own taste. My favourite thing about making salads is their versatility!
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch kale, chopped
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 red onion, minced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil (plus some for cooking)
1 cup feta cheese, cubed
1 cup chickpeas
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. Place the washed quinoa in a pot, adding two cups of cold water and some salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes (or until the curly Q ‘tails’ of the quinoa are visible)
- Place some olive oil in a pan. Wash the kale and baby spinach. Remove the hard stalks from the kale. Stack the leaves of the greens and chop them roughly (don’t worry about making the pieces too small, the size reduces as they cook). Place the greens in a pan and cook on medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes. If you wish you can put a splash of water in the pan and cover for a few minutes until the leaves are limp. Remove from heat and place in a salad bowl.
- Mince red onion and cook in olive oil over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes (or until onions begin to sweat). Remove from heat and place in salad bowl with greens.
- Chop feta cheese into cubes. Place dried cranberries and chickpeas in bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- Juice the lemon. Add the 1/4 cup of olive oil, and spices and whisk.
- Place the cooked quinoa in your salad bowl. Drizzle your lemon/olive oil dressing over top and mix to combine. Top with feta cheese and serve warm.
This salad is great served warm but I also love it the next day for lunch when all of the flavours have combined. I eat it cold for lunch and it is just as good, maybe even better. Enjoy!