Quinoa & Kale Salad

I come bearing no statistics, but I do know that food allergies are so prevalent, I’m willing to wager that everyone knows at least a couple of friends/relatives/co-workers who have been handed this misfortune. Since my friend’s daughter has an egg allergy (one she’ll likely grow out of), she asked me to bake an egg-free smash cake for her 1st birthday party. While this was a huge compliment, I’m no experienced cake-baker. Since I do love to bake, and want improve in this area, I agreed to the task! Yesterday was the party, and of course, I saved the entire process for the day of. I spent all morning mixing, baking, cooling, frosting and more frosting. I had no idea that a tiny two layer cake would take me so long. The finished cake was no where near professional looking, but my friend’s little girl dug into that cake like a champ!

While I was waiting for the cake to cool before frosting it, I prepared this Quinoa & Kale Salad for Meatless Monday lunch. The salad consisted of quinoa, chopped kale, carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, dried blueberries and raisins. While I normally don’t gravitate toward salads with fruit, there was something about this combination that made think that the sweetness was exactly what this salad needed. I did a little dance in my head when even my 1 year old son enjoyed eating this for lunch…thanks to the raisins. I recommend taste-testing this salad while making it and tweak it accordingly; with just the right amount of lemon, salt and pepper, this salad is healthy and delicious.

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Quinoa & Kale Salad

Serving Size: 3-4 servings

Recipe from The Family Cooks by Laurie David, with a few of my own additions

What You Need

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins, or a mix (no sugar added, if possible)
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped (I used shredded because I had them on hand)
  • 4 large kale leaves, stems removed, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

What To Do

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, set aside and let the quinoa cool.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the sunflower seeds, parsley, dried berries, celery, carrot, and kale in a large bowl.
  3. When the quinoa is cooled, add it to the large bowl and toss to combine everything. Distribute olive oil, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Toss and then taste and adjust with more lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning as needed.


Tips: If the lemon and olive oil is too light in flavor for you, try adding the zest of 1 lemon for a heightened lemon flavor. Or, instead of the olive oil and lemon juice, try using a mild Italian dressing such as Garlic Expressions for more flavor.


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