Quinoa Kale Salad

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While reading Kimberly Snyder’s blog post last week, I was inspired to eat kale salad.  That same day after I had my hair done, on my way home, I noticed a cute little restaurant tucked within a busy street corner — Sage in Echo Park (Los Angeles).  While in my car, I read the yelp reviews, which were great… so I stepped right in.  Sage is a vegan, organic, raw restaurant. Normally, I’d be scared to walk into a place like this, but many reviews said they don’t compromise on flavor, which, thankfully, they were absolutely right about.

At 1:30pm, it was still bustling with patrons.  I had a seat, asked my server what he recommended and he pointed out his favorites in all of the sections of the menu.  Since I’d read Kimberly’s blog post about kale salad, I decided to go with the recommended Goatless Greek Quinoa Kale Salad.  It was a tad saltier than I expected, but nonetheless delicious. I left Sage that Friday afternoon, full and satisfied.  Then I got home and jotted down some notes about my experience.  Usually when I really enjoy a meal, I go back the next day.  I like to really savor food and keep long-lasting memories of a meal I loved so much fresh on my mind and palette. The next day, after we spent the day at Peyman’s parents’ house, we went to Sage for dinner.  Yep, I liked it that much. Peyman was a little apprehensive about it at first, just like me, but was surprisingly pleased after dinner.  We’d arrived at 8:30pm, a peak time for dinner.  There was a waiting list of 10 parties before us.  They, however, had outdoor seating with heating lamps, and we were so hungry that we decided to just take the little table outside that no one wanted: right across from a graffiti laden van.  Service was attentive and quick, and the food was delish!  During dinner, Peyman observed masses of hipsters walking in and out of the restaurant and said, “This place is a gold mine”. I agreed.  I thought it was definitely a diamond in the rough, being in a pretty sketchy part of town.

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The next day, Sunday, I had a gathering at our place with my girlfriends to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  In keeping with the St. Pat’s theme, I made a chocolate stout cake and a green cake with chocolate, mint and pistachio.  I also provided fruit for my friends, while they brought wonderful components for our huge, delicious feast.  I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it was a cheat day for me!  After the day was through, I felt blessed and very grateful to have thoughtful friends with such good taste in food.

On Monday, I got back on track with clean-eating and with the memory of Sage still fresh in my mind, I created a kale salad for Peyman and I to eat for dinner.  First I watched Kimberly make her Dharma Kale Salad, then I applied a similar technique of breaking apart the kale and smashing the avocado into the kale as a dressing into my own salad.  I incorporated some ingredients I liked in Sage’s kale salad.  We liked it so much, I made it for my sister the next day for lunch and she liked it so much she made it the following day for her family.  She said, though, that my measurements were a little off (her’s came out a little differently).  But as with any recipe, I told her to taste, and season or add things as you make it.  I tried my best to get a more accurate measurement of the ingredients, below.

Here it is.

Quinoa Kale Salad

Yields 2 large servings

Time 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 head of Kale, stem removed

At least 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

2-3 tomatoes (about 1 cup), diced

1 avocado, diced

1 gala Apple, diced

1/4th onion, diced small

1 tablespoon flaxseed

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1/4-1/2 cup quinoa, cooked

About 1/4 cup  or small handful of walnuts, toasted (toasting optional) and roughly chopped (toast in a 300 degree oven for about 8 mins..or until fragrant or until they taste yummy)

2 tablespoons of dried cranberries

At least 3-4 shakes of cayenne pepper, depending on how much of kick of heat you like in your food

1 whole juicy lemon

1/4 cup Cucumber, chopped (optional)

Directions

Click here, to see a demonstration on how to massage kale with sea salt and avocado.

1. Wash greens well. Remove the kale stems and save them for later – to be used for a green juice or shake.

2. Add kale leaves and salt to a large bowl. With clean hands, tear the kale into bite-sized pieces while massaging salt onto the leaves.  This will sort of tenderize the leaves.

3. Add remaining ingredients.

4. With clean hands, toss the salad, while massaging the avocado onto the kale leaves. Toss, toss, toss.

(No oil is required because the avocado is the fat.)

5. Season to taste. If you think it needs more salt, add more salt or try adding some seaweed or dulse for less sodium. If you want it spicier, add more cayenne.

6. Toss. Serve and enjoy.

 

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