My friend told me about a fabulous kale and quinoa salad at The Cheesecake Factory. So, of course, I had to try it since I’m always on the lookout for a delicious, nutritious dish. Another friend and I just couldn’t stop eating it even though I needed to take some home so I could recreate it. It was delicious. I created my own version of the restaurant’s lemon vinaigrette and added it to some kale, quinoa, grapes, sunflower seeds, and Romano cheese. According to my taste-testers, my salad is a winner! It’s easy, delicious and very nutritious.
I used curly kale, but any kale should work; just make sure to toss the bitter stems. Stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them into tight bundles and slice thinly or just chop into thin strips until shredded. Toss the dressing with the shredded kale and massage the dressing into the kale with your hands for a couple of minutes (to tenderize it). Throw the remaining ingredients in with the kale and you have an excellent salad in no time!
1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa,
5 cups kale, thinly shredded
1 3/4 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half (shortcut below)
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp raw honey (not for babies under 1 year old)
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
salt & pepper to taste
Cook 1/2 cup quinoa per package directions. Add all the dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake vigorously. Fold kale in half lengthwise along the stem. Tear kale leaves off stem. Stack leaves on top of each other and thinly chop kale. Add shredded kale to large bowl. Toss dressing with kale and message the dressing into kale for a couple of minutes. Add remaining salad ingredients and combine. Enjoy!
Shortcut: Cut several grapes at once by placing grapes in one layer on a cutting board. Press a flat lid or plate on top of the grapes. With one-hand press down on the flat lid. With the other hand holding a sharp knife, slice the grapes lengthwise between the lid and cutting board.