A few weeks back, I spent a blissful Sunday in a little beach town on Lake Michigan. The weather was perfect – sunny skies, warm sand, gentle waves. I finished a book I’ve been reading for months with my toes in the surf (if you can call it that) and successfully tanned without getting sunburn. We rode bikes to a local winery and then pedaled to a little bistro where we drank more wine. I even taught my dog how to swim at sunset (he’s a Pug/Boston Terrier mix. He tends to just thrash in the water).
We ended our evening with a rooftop dinner at The Stray Dog Bar & Grill in New Buffalo. It’s kind of a tradition when we’re in town. After inhaling a vegan Chicago-style hotdog for lunch (so good!) and indulging in a few glasses of wine, I was ready for a nutrient-dense salad to finish the night on a high note. The kale salad I ordered was simple, but so delicious. Just dinosaur kale, quinoa, dried cranberries, and pine nuts drizzled with a light vinaigrette. I liked it so much that I was inspired to create my own version when I got home.
This salad isn’t fussy or fancy, which is what I love about it. I’m really into turmeric right now, so I based the dressing around flavors that complement the earthy root. As far as kale goes, I like to use shredded dinosaur kale because it’s slightly sweeter than regular kale. Katie went with the baby variety for these photos. The moral of the story: use the kale of your choice! The hemp seeds in the dressing are optional, but I recommend them. They add a kick of protein and boost the creamy factor quite a bit.Print
- ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 1 bunch dinosaur kale (or 4 cups baby kale)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts
Golden Turmeric Dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 2 Tbsp. agave
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds (optional)
- Combine the quinoa and 1½ cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked through and all the water has been absorbed. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in the raisins, replace the lid, and let the mixture rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove the tough stems from the kale leaves and discard. Chop the leaves into small, thin pieces and add them to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt and use your hands to massage the kale leaves until fragrant and slightly softened, about a minute. Stir in the green onion and pine nuts.
- If you haven’t already, remove the lid from the saucepan to allow the quinoa and raisins to cool. To prepare the golden turmeric dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, turmeric, agave, sea salt, black pepper, and hemp seeds (if using) in a small bowl.
- Once the quinoa and raisins have cooled to room temperature, stir them into the serving bowl to join the kale, green onion, and pine nuts. Stir to combine. Before serving, drizzle on as much of the golden turmeric dressing as you’d like (you may not use it all) and toss to coat. Enjoy at room temperature or chill salad in the fridge for 30 minutes before eating.