Well Being: Kale Salad with Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes and Pomegranate-Basil Dressing

My three favorite foods are kale, quinoa and sweet potatoes, so I love creating recipes with all three. It may seem like there’s a lot of prep work IMG_6218involved with this recipe, and there is, but REAL food (not in a box) takes work, but your body will thank you. And, when I make a recipe with quinoa and sweet potatoes, I always make more than I need because they are both great items to keep in the refrigerator for quick, healthy food on the go that I don’t mind eating cold – so the prep work means less prep work for days to come. This recipe is a nice balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, along with antioxidants (pomegranate) and vitamins A, C & B-6 and calcium. This recipe serves 2 (leaving aside some sweet potatoes and quinoa).

Salad Ingredients:

2 grilled organic chicken breasts

1 large bunch of organic green kale (remove leaves from stems and chop to small pieces)

3 medium organic sweet potatoes (roasting method below)

3/4 cup organic dry quinoa

1 cup organic walnuts

Point Reyes bleu cheese (optional – just a little to crumble on top of each salad for complimentary flavor – it’s my favorite bleu cheese)

Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 cup extra virgin organic olive oil

1/2 of organic lemon squeezed

1/2 of organic pomegranate (remove seeds from half of a pomegranate)

1 tsp dried basil (or 6 large fresh leaves)

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 organic garlic clove

1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in Vitamix (or any blender) and blend on medium setting for 1-2 minutes until pureed.

Method:

Prepare kale as described above, wash and set aside in large bowl. Preheat oven to 375. Remove skin from sweet potatoes, cube them and tossIMG_6220 in a boll with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spray a 9×11 baking dish, put sweet potatoes in dish and bake for 30 minutes or until slightly golden brown around edges, turning once half way through with a spatula (I sometimes turn on the broil setting for a couple minutes at the end to give them a slight crisp). While potatoes are in oven, rinse quinoa and put quinoa in 2 qt pot with 1.5 cups of water (quinoa is always cooked with 2:1 ratio water to quinoa). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally until water has been absorbed by grain. In a sauce pan, add 1 T olive oil and toast walnuts over medium high heat until browned on both sides (careful not to burn). When quinoa is done, add 3/4 of it into the bowl with the chopped kale and toss. The warm quinoa will wilt the kale slightly which helps with the somewhat rough texture of kale. Pour dressing over and toss until kale/quinoa mixture is coated. Divide mixture on two large plates and top with sweet potatoes, toasted walnuts, some bleu cheese (if desired) and chicken.

Be well xo

Annie

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