Greek Kale Quinoa Salad with red onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, banana peppers in a quick and easy vinaigrette that’s Full of flavor.
Greek Kale Quinoa Salad
We LOVE kale salad around here. We also tend to stick to salads because they can be so low in points. But there is a definite issue when it comes to staying full with salads. Recently I have been experimenting with adding more grains to our meals.
Enter Quinoa. I LOVE quinoa because it’s so easy to cook (just be sure you’re rinsing it very well to reduce the bitterness).
How to take the bite out of red onions:
A question asked a lot is how to make onions less strong. If you’re nervous about the sharpness of red onion you can also soak the slices in ice water while you are cooking, for 15-20 minutes. You can also soak in vinegar but the vinegar will slightly soften the onions.
Salad swaps for Quinoa:
- Farro or barley would be a great alternative.
- For a no point alternative add butternut squash, carrot or acorn squash cubes.
Different Varieties of Quinoa:
- White Quinoa is the fluffiest of the quinoa, mildest flavor and most similar to cooked rice.
- Red Quinoa is richer and nuttier. Cooks up chewy instead of fluffy.
- Black Quinoa is the nuttiest and chewiest flavor, it also takes the longer to cook.
How to Massage Kale:
Knead the leaves like you would a bread dough. Just as you would cream butter sugar together long enough to see a dramatic lightened mixture as you knead the kale leaves you will see the green colors become much more vibrant and noticeably softer.
Why do you massage Kale?
Kale is a very bitter and fibrous green leafy vegetable. If dressed without massaging it would be unpleasant to eat and the taste would be quite overwhelming. Massaging kale allows some of the fibrous texture to break down and as the kale softens the flavors become more agreeable.
Can I skip massaging the kale?
If you prefer not to massage your kale, toss it in olive oil and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator to allow it to soften naturally over time or steam it for a minute and let it cool. Remember to account for the points in the olive oil.
Greek Kale Quinoa Salad
- 2/3 cup quinoa
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 head of kale leaves removed from the woodsy stems and shredded
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 ounces feta cheese cubed
- 16 kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Rinse the quinoa well with water then add to a saucepan with 1 1/3 cups water.
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, water, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, kosher salt and black pepper.
In a large bowl add half the dressing to the kale and massage it for 3-4 minutes before slicing.
Add the quinoa, olives and bell pepper then toss with the salad ingredients.
Top with the feta and olives.