Give this Warm Quinoa Seasonal Salad a try on this Meatless Monday before Thanksgiving! It’s hearty and healthy, will give you that boost you need to prepare for the onslaught of guests and you won’t have a twinge of guilt for the over-indulgence that is to come in a few days! Bon appetit!
Warm Quinoa Seasonal Salad
Yield: 2 servings
Cook Time: 12 minutes
¼ cup red or white quinoa
½ cup water
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups stemmed and roughly torn green kale (such as curly or dinosaur kale)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons dried blueberries
1 small shallot, finely chopped
½ cup sliced cremini mushrooms
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons crumbled Greek feta
1. In a fine mesh sieve, add the quinoa and rinse under running water for 2 minutes. Add the rinsed quinoa to a medium saucepan and pour in the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan set over high heat, add ½ cup balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thick and reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Once the vinegar looks slightly runnier than honey, remove it from the heat (it will continue to thicken as it cools; stir in a drop of water if it is too thick to drizzle).
3. In a large bowl, add the kale and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Use your hands to massage the oil into the kale for 1 minute. Mix in the dried blueberries.
4. In a large skillet set over high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until the oil is shimmering, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the remaining 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked quinoa and the feta and heat, stirring frequently, until the feta melts slightly, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the mushroom mixture to the kale and toss to combine. Drizzle in the reduced balsamic vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and serve. Calories per Serving: 376; Sodium: 784mg; Total Carbohydrate: 42g; Fiber: 4g; Fat: 20g