These days, it seems like there is a new trendy food highlighted across health and wellness pages every week. The food of the week gains rapid popularity and then fizzles out after people try making a recipe or two with it. But kale and quinoa are two ingredients that are completely timeless and immune to trend cycles. They have been staples in my kitchen for decades, and I will never tire of them. Aside from simply being delicious, kale contains a significant amount of vitamin A, folate, omega-3s, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Quinoa is a gluten-free protein source that contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds. I have been making this Warm Kale & Quinoa Salad for many years now, and it will always be a staple on my weekly menu. It’s nutrient-dense (especially high in fiber), simple, and contains the ideal amount of flavor depth with the incorporation of honey, sage, and red pepper flakes. I hope you love it as much as I do!
5 stalks of kale
1 small head of green cabbage
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 small red onion
2 sage sprigs
1/4 cup honey
2 T water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
A sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Olive oil as needed
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cook your quinoa per package instructions, with a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa.
Remove the core from the cabbage, then thinly slice the cabbage and kale. Spread them out evenly on separate baking sheets, one for cabbage, one for the kale.
Drizzle both the kale and cabbage with avocado oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the cabbage at 450F for 15-20 minutes or until golden and slightly crisp. For the last 5-7 minutes of baking, add in the kale to bake. Remove both vegetables from the oven and turn the oven down to 375°F.
Add the quinoa to a baking sheet and cover with olive oil and red pepper flakes. Season with salt to taste and toss. Roast this for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through until the quinoa is slightly golden and lightly crisp.
While the quinoa is baking, make the agrodolce dressing. Thinly slice the red onion and place it in a bowl. Whisk together the honey and water. Put a pan or small pot on medium heat and add a small splash of oil. Add in the sage leaves and pour in the honey mixture, it should fizz slightly, and stir until it thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Add a pinch of salt and the vinegar. Stir again and let the mixture simmer slightly for 1-2 minutes. Remove the sage and pour this over the red onion. Stir to combine.
Toss together the kale, cabbage and red onion agrodolce. When the quinoa is out of the oven, sprinkle it liberally on top of the salad and serve warm! Enjoy!