• Hannah Estabrook

Reality Bites: Curried Kale and Quinoa Salad


Confession: I’m obsessed with this salad. It’s as if all of my favorite ingredients have finally met in perfect harmony, to create a dish that’s hearty, yet light; bold, yet comforting. Warm, deep spices combine with fresh veggies, high-protein chickpeas and quinoa, and crunchy seeds to create a tidal wave of flavour and texture. It’s 100% vegan, gluten free and delicious.

Although this recipe may seem complicated at a glance, not to fear! The techniques used are simple and easy to follow- the entire dish should come together in less than 45 minutes. I guarantee that all of the ingredients are available at your neighbourhood grocery store, and right now, most of the vegetables can be found from local farmers! Even better? This will make enough salad for a very hungry family, plus leftovers for lunch the next day. Or enough food for your lonely self all week.

But, another confession: I can’t take all the credit for this recipe. It was loosely inspired by an almost-as-incredible salad that I had at Thrive Juice Bar & Kitchen in Bar Harbour, Maine (highly recommended if you ever find yourself in bar harbour and need a detox for all of those lobster rolls and ice cream). That being said, I assure you that this is far better than the original. So, you’re welcome.

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • Olive oil

  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • 1 cup of dry quinoa

  • 1 can of chickpeas

  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 3 large carrots

  • 1 bunch of curly green kale

  • ½ cup raisins

  • ½ cup toasted seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup roasted almond butter

  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp curry powder

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, remove the leaves and stem of the cauliflower then cut it into bite-sized pieces. Now toss it up with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast it in the oven on a large baking sheet for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower looks browned around the edges.

  2. While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the quinoa according to package directions.

  3. Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas. Heat up a pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the chickpeas, stirring to coat. Add the cumin, garlic powder, soy sauce, maple syrup and lemon juice to the pan, and continue roasting until the chickpeas are crisp and golden (about 8 minutes).

  4. Peel and grate the carrots into small shreds.

  5. Rinse the kale, then remove the tough stems and tear it up into bite-sized pieces.

  6. Combine the kale, carrots, cooked quinoa, roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, raisins and seeds together in a (very) large bowl.

  7. Make the dressing by blending all ingredients in a high-speed blender, or alternatively, whisking vigorously by hand. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.

  8. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and stir well to coat.

  9. Serve the salad warm, or chilled. Enjoy!

Superfood Spotlight:

Kale!

Aaaahh, kale; the epitome of superfoods, the main food group of the nutrition-obsessed, the perfect symbol of all “gross foods my mom makes me eat”… and for good reasons!

Sure, it’s leafy, and chewy, and bitter and green, but it is worth every bite! Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, incredibly high in fiber and is also one of the best detox foods in existence. Not only does it have a significant amount of iron (more than beef!) vitamin C and vitamin A, but one serving of kale also contains a whopping 1180% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K! Vitamin K? What’s that? Good question! It is a somewhat rare vitamin, but is essential for many of our basic bodily functions, and has been linked to incredible cancer-fighting benefits. So, start munching.