“Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission.” ~ Andrew Jackson

I found another delicious salad that allows me to use my new favorite ingredient.

Quinoa.

Whats great about quinoa is that it’s very filling and pretty much takes on the flavor of the other ingredients with which it has been paired. Because of this, you can add it or serve it with most any salad or as a bed for a sauce in place of rice. It has been called the “perfect food”.

I am always finding new ways to try quinoa. I have a new recipe for a breakfast bowl that calls for it and I am dying to give it a try.

Stay tuned.

Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

(adapted from Damn Delicious)

Salad

  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup blueberry craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Toss salad ingredients in large bowl, top with vinaigrette, toss again. Serve immediately.

** This can be made with any mixed green salad but I highly recommend keeping all other ingredients. **

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl.

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-abp

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“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.” ~ Robert H. Schuller

I have been on a quest for interesting, great tasting salads.

On Facebook I talked about needing to get more salads (with some kind of protein) into my diet.

But they had to be good!

As I have mentioned before – everything I blog about comes from something I have cooked to eat with my family. I only wish my blog was impressive enough that I actually cooked full time for it. But sadly, not yet. A girl can dream, though!  🙂

So when the thought of a serious diet started, I questioned it with – “What in the world will I be able to blog?” I can’t write about a bagged salad with grilled chicken and a bottled lite vinaigrette every week!

I received lots of great feedback from my friends on Facebook and I foraged Pinterest, because of this, I am starting to get a pretty good list going.

The following is an example.

Apple Harvest Salad

(adapted from Life Made Simple)

Salad

  • 6 cups of lightly packed spinach, torn
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 large fugi apple
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ Craisins
  • ½ feta cheese

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tsp. minced shallot
  • 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

Add greens to a large dinner plate or salad bowl. Top with the cooked (and cooled) quinoa, apple chunks, pepitas and craisins.

To make the vinaigrette, combine the shallot and vinegar in a small mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Slowly add the olive oil by pouring in a steady stream, whisking vigorously until emulsified. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.

Serve alone or with a protein.

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-abp

“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” ~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Wow.

That’s all I can say.

I just had the BEST diet food I have ever eaten.

No joke, I couldn’t stop eating it.

Which probably negates the whole diet thing when you eat 3 servings…….

Any-who.

If I could find 8-10 menu items that good, that are also good for shedding the pounds – this old girl might just pull it off.

I have to thank my sweet friend, Alexandra, for bringing this dish to our Christmas dinner. She shared the recipe she had found, I tweaked it just a bit and this family is happy!

It’s actually just a side dish but you can make it a meal easily, several different ways.

Tonight, I cooked a few seasoned fish filets in a skillet to go with it but you could easily add chopped chicken for a one bowl dish.

If you are looking to loose a few pounds or get a little healthier – this dish is for you.

If you are not worried about any of those things – this dish is for you!

I feel extremely “earthy” after this meal. 😉

Chopped Kale Salad

  • 6 cups of chopped Kale (chopped into small bites)
  • ½ cup toasted almonds
  • ½ cup Craisins®
  • 1½ cup cooked, whole grain quinoa
  • Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard (store bought is great)
  • 3 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Vinaigrette – Whisk together the mustard and the vinegar, slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Salad – In a large bowl, toss together the kale, almonds, craisins and quinoa. Stir in dressing.

Serve alone or with a protein of your choice.

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Yum!

-abp