Kale Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is an ancient grain that has exploded in popularity over the last decade, and rightfully so. The grain is actually a seed that was essential to the South American diet for thousands of years. Today, quinoa is considered a “super food,” as it’s high in protein and amino acids and. It’s also delicious!

Quinoa is fantastic as a side dish on its own, or in cold salads. I like to make a big batch on Sundays to eat throughout the week. I use whatever is around the house from onions, peppers, jalapeños, cilantro, and black beans for a Mexican inspiration, or chopped spinach, oranges, chicken, ginger, and a little soy sauce and rice wine vinegar for an Asian interpretation. This week I had kale, pine nuts, feta cheese, and currants in the pantry.

1 cup dried quinoa (any color)
1 bag packaged kale
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup dried currants
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Balsamic vinegar, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook quinoa according to package. Allow to cool.

In a pot of salted boiling water, add kale and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain kale and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, drain and set aside.

Heat a small saute pan. Add pine nuts and toast on low heat until very lightly brown–just 2-3 minutes.
Place dried currants in a bowl and top with hot water, allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Combine quinoa, kale, pine nuts, currants, and feta cheese. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.