Mediterranean Quinoa Kale Salad

Sturdy and fresh, this crunchy salad pairs perfectly with grilled meats or stands alone for a simple meal.

Mediterranean Quinoa Kale salad

It finally happened. And it happened with a vengeance. James got sick and we all went down with him. There have been snot-suckers and piles of tissues and lots of lying around this week. My one shining moment of was this salad, prepared before our pestilence required Dominos, Vitamin Water, and Lofthouse cookies.

The name – Mediterranean Quinoa Kale Salad – makes it sound fancy. It’s not, really. I’m not even sure it should be deemed Mediterranean, but it had olives in it and I thought Mediterranean Quinoa Kale salad sounded a bit better (at least a lot easier to say) than Quinoa-Kale-Olive-Carrot-Cucumber-Feta-Balsamic salad.

And there you have it – the ingredients that make up this tasty salad:

I wanted a salad with quinoa but not a quinoa salad, if you know what I mean. I cooked up a 1/2 cup quinoa and made sure to evaporate all the extra moisture so the cooked quinoa wouldn’t clump in the salad.

It’s been too hot to roast the 5lb bag of carrots we have, and they’ve been taunting me in the fridge. Two of them were silenced with the grater. Now I’m left with 4.7lbs of heckling vegetables.

We had feta leftover from a quinoa salad I made last week. (Too pea-laden for Tim’s taste but I loved it!) Let’s pause for a moment and acknowledge my maturing cheese taste – I had FETA-formerlyknownasbarfcheese- in my fridge.

I was overcome with pride at having feta in my fridge, so the cheese dictated my other salad ingredients. Olives and feta always get paired in Greeky salads. I can’t always get down with the Kalamatas, but I love black olives. Aren’t cucumbers also a Greek (hey, I thought this was a Mediterranean salad…) salad staple? I assumed so…

To fulfill my non-quinoa salad desires, I added a couple handfuls of chopped baby kale. It would have been a couple handfuls of the power greens mix from Costco, but most of the bags looked a little wilty. (I could smell the gross seaweed aroma just looking at the moist leaves at the bottom of the bag.)

We are never without balsamic vinaigrette.

And that makes a delicious, hearty salad! None of the flavors are overpowering. Everything stays crunchy even after several days dressed in the fridge (don’t ask me how I know that…)

Mediterranean Quinoa Kale salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Kale Salad
Author: Emily C. Gardner
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 large handfuls (approx 3 cups) baby kale
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 1 (6oz) can black olives
  • balsamic vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a mesh sieve. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup water and quinoa to a boil. Take off heat and cover with tight fitting lid. Let sit for 20 minutes. Uncover and place over medium-high heat. Cook until no moisture remains on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Chop baby kale.
  3. Peel and grate carrots.
  4. Peel and de-seed cucumber. Cut into strips and dice.
  5. Drain olives. Put a few on your fingers and eat them. Roughly chop remaining olives.
  6. Mix quinoa, kale, carrots, cucumber, olives, and feta in a large bowl.
  7. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette to taste. I used about 1/3 cup.
Notes
The tossed salad can be kept for up to three days without getting hinky.

 

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