One of my favorite ways to create a recipe is to hit the farmer’s market, buy what looks best, go through the garden at home grabbing what’s ready and then I look through the pantry. The arugula and bell peppers at the farmers market looked so amazing and my kale and mint at home are both growing like crazy, so I wanted to come up with a meal using these things. I thought a warm quinoa dish would be perfect. I decided to cook up the kale to wilt it, since it can be tough and bitter, but I left the arugula raw since it would wilt with the warmth of the quinoa and veggies, plus I wanted a little bit of crunch. YUM! this salad had so much flavor going on. We had this as our main dish, it was light but filling and delicious and equally as pretty to look at. This dish would work great as a side dish or your main, as we did. It’s also great cold, right out of the fridge for a quick snack or lunch. Another great vegan dish, perfect for a dinner party or BBQ.
Warm Quinoa Salad with Kale and Arugula
1 cup quinoa
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 teaspoons
1 medium onion, diced
1 lemon, zested
1-2 lemons, juiced
1 bunch of arugula, stems removed, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, stems removed, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add onion and red pepper, saute until onions are translucent. Add garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add kale and lemon zest. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the kale is wilted. Remove from the heat.
In a small bowl add 1/4 cup of olive oil, the juice from 1-2 lemons, 1 minced garlic clove, salt and pepper. Whisk together.
After the quinoa is cooked (about 15 minutes), add to a large serving bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the kale mixture, fresh arugula and fresh mint, toss to combine. Pour the dressing over the top, toss again to combine. Taste, add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve. This can be served warm, room temperature or cold.