Dinner in a jiffy: Red quinoa and kale salad

As much as I love spending an hour in the kitchen preparing a meal (god I hate how disgustingly domestic/40-year-old I sound), there are days when you need a good meal fast.

For me, those days of the week are either Wednesdays or Thursdays, depending on when my recreational baseball game is. In addition to feeding myself on these nights, I’ve also started bringing one of my CBC colleagues and fellow baseball team member, Martha, dinner at every game, since she doesn’t get off work until 6 p.m. (she is our superstar afternoon newsreader!) and has expressed baseball-induced hunger at one time or the other. Everyone needs supper. And trust me, our team needs all the extra energy it can get.

Food-wise, I feel like such a recipe copycat lately, but the Internet is such a good stomach to supper matchmaker that I can’t help but be inspired. This recipe came from Taste Food Blog, and was adapted a teensy bit by yours truly to fit my needs and serving size.

Since the term “jiffy” was an integral part of this slaw, I was pleased to have some leftover Cookin’ Greens kale to use up. You know, it’s that kale that I used for the sweet potato and kale mac and cheese a few posts back. In case you don’t remember, it comes pre-chopped and flash frozen, and was super easy to measure out, cook up on the stove and toss into this salad.

The refreshing zing of lemon vinaigrette plucked at my tastebuds and that tender chew of kale gets me every time. You can eat this salad warm (as I did for dinner), but it really is more delicious after a night of refrigeration to allow the flavours to sing.

I washed down dinner with a batch of homemade almond milk. One of my favourite bloggers (she’s Canadian, too!), Sarah from My New Roots, posted this beautiful and informative video a while ago and I have been trying to find time and an excuse to make it ever since. The resulting drink – let’s just call it “health juice,” shall we? – was refreshing and actually so easy to make. There’s something extremely badass about taking a solid and making it into a liquid (also, soaked almonds are just so cute and plump after they sit in water all night). It’s like grade five science glass all over again. Plus it made me feel like an accomplished hippie chick which, to be honest, is what I totally try to be sometimes.

The almond milk-making process

I took the pictures you see below after my baseball game was done, as the final slits of light from my favourite part of the day shone through the kitchen window. Who says straws can’t have halos?

I ate my leftovers (+ sandwich) on the patio of my favourite Sudbury bakery, Café Petit Gâteau, and watched as people enviously eyed my lunch from the YMCA across the street.


Recipe: Red quinoa and kale salad
Adapted from Taste Food Blog
– 1 cup red quinoa (or normal quinoa, your choice!)
– 2 cups chicken stock
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
– 1/2 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 small red pepper, diced
– 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
– 1 garlic clove, minced
–  1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 2 cup Cookin’ Greens kale, cooked up in 1/2 cup of water (substitute: 2 1/2 cups fresh kale, chopped)

Bring quinoa, stock and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cover and reduce to heat to low. Simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa grains sprout, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and put in another bowl.

Meanwhile, defrost your kale (if necessary) by cooking it over low heat with 1/2 cup of water. Set aside.

Add lemon juice and olive oil and toss to coat. Cool slightly. Add remaining ingredients, except for the kale, and toss to combine. Stir in the kale. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or after it has been refrigerated.

Makes about 4 servings.


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