It's national kale day, people.
I did not pair you a kale and quinoa salad for this particular day. Instead, I have taken it several steps further and have paired those two inseparable staples with sweet potatoes, black beans and peppers for this crazy stunt of a day. (Who comes up with this stuff? Seriously? Can someone tell me?)
There is a lot of good news about this dish. It can be put together in stages, is fairly adaptable and is super healthy; quinoa is loaded with protein and vitamins. (You can read more about that on Cooking Detective.) The best part, from this busy human's perspective, is the do-it-in-stages thing.
Case in point. I made the black beans in a crockpot ahead of time, but you can certainly used canned ones if you have them on hand. I cooked the quinoa on the stovetop in the morning. I chopped the peppers and shallots then, too. You could very easily roast the sweet potatoes ahead of time, if desired or necessary, but I prefer to do that as close to the finish line as possible. Texture issues, you know? This comes together with a bright, gingery dressing.
Sweet Potato, Kale and Quinoa Salad with Orange Ginger Viniagrette
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 1 T. coconut oil or butter
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 2 cups chopped bell peppers
- 2 cups black beans
- 2 cups finely chopped kale
- 3 cups roasted sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 T. finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 T. finely minced fresh turmeric
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Cook the quinoa according to package directions and set aside.
Melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or some other wide, deep pot. Add the red onion and cook for a few minutes until it begins to soften. Add the cumin and coriander and stir together to become fragrant and coat the red onion. After two or three minutes add the bell peppers, cover and cook for another two minutes. Then, add the quinoa, black beans, kale, stirring to combine. Add the sweet potatoes and cilantro and toss gently. Finally, season with sea salt or kosher salt, along with pepper (freshly ground, please) to taste.
This salad works well at room temperature or served hot, but regardless of your choice, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small Pyrex measuring cup and taste, taste, taste. I found I needed less olive oil than expected. Pour about half into the bowl, stir together to incorporate the dressing and taste. Add more if desired. Dressing is a VERY subjective thing.