Salads, Sandwiches

Lebanese Lamb Kufta Kebabs and Tabbouleh Salad

Lebanese Lamb Kafta Kebabs and Tabbouleh Salad1 (2)

I grew up with a Lebanese Mother who loved to cook.  Her Lebanese feast ranks #1 on my “If I was stranded on a deserted island with one meal, what meal would it be?” list. So, with that in mind, go grab plenty of parsley and lamb and let’s get crackin’ on a few key components of that “#1 – stranded on an deserted island” meal.

(Side note: I just got an idea for a silly/cool drawing. Me on an empty tropical beach. A giant Lebanese feast sitting on a beach towel in front of me. Me smiling.)

I’ve tried many different tabbouleh recipes. Here’s my favorite, (meaning it’s obviously the best).  This refreshing parsley salad is made with bulgur wheat, fresh mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions. It’s dressed with a lemony vinaigrette. I prefer my tabbouleh salad heavier on the parsley and lighter on the mint.

Tabbouleh SaladTabbouleh Salad1Tabbouleh Salad2

For those unfamiliar, kufta refers to kebabs made with ground meat rather than cubed. In this dish, I’m showcasing the traditional Lebanese kufta recipe that my family makes at home. Extremely easy to prepare, it makes one hell of crowd pleasing dinner staple. I make it quite often. I prefer to stuff my kufta in a warm pita along with homemade tabbouleh salad, hummus or tzatziki (or both), red onion, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. I guess I also prefer to occasionally imagine myself eating this on a tiny tropical island.

Lebanese Lamb Kafta Kebabs and Tabbouleh Salad2Lebanese Lamb Kafta Kebabs and Tabbouleh Salad1 (2)Lebanese Lamb Kafta Kebabs and Tabbouleh Salad3

LAMB KUFTA KEBABS:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground lamb (or ground beef or chicken)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced (I use a garlic press)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, sometimes I also add fresh mint if I have on hand
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (leave out if you do not like spice)
  • 25 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Directions:

Mix the lamb, garlic, salt, pepper, onion, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and cayenne pepper in a bowl until combined. Be mindful not to over mix. Form the mixture into 25 balls. Form each ball around the tip of a skewer, flattening into a 2 -3 inch tube.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium heat, and lightly oil grate/pan. Cook the skewers 6-8 minutes rotating when necessary.

Serve in a pita (or on a bed of rice pilaf). Serve with tzatziki sauce and/or hummus, red onion, kalamata olives, feta cheese and tabbouleh salad (recipe below).

TABBOULEH SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (I use a garlic press)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups flat-leaf parsley (2-3 bunches), finely chopped -remove stems and pulse in a food processor
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes on the vine, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeds removed and diced
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Combine water and bulgur in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce to simmer, and cover for 12 minutes (OR according to package directions).  If any water remains, drain. Transfer bulgur to a large bowl and let cool for 30 minutes.

Combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until well blended. Add parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber, and scallions to the bulgur wheat. Add the dressing and toss.

Note:  Sometimes I add 1 cup of chickpeas to the salad to bulk up the protein.  Tabbouleh is best served the same day it is made.

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Salads, Vegetarian Recipes

Kale Salad with Breadcrumb Croutons

Kale Salad with Breadcrumb Croutons

 

I’m guilty of it. I’ll readily admit. I’m guilty of eating kale multiple days a week. I love it in my Fall Quinoa and Kale Salad, Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon, Almonds, and Pecorino, and Kale and Corn Salad with Basil Lime Vinaigrette.  All incredibly tasty, satisfying, and hearty. But just because kale can be tough and bitter doesn’t mean you have to “sneak” kale into a salad. Kale actually CAN be deliciously featured in a salad with just a few other ingredients. This is not “kale propaganda.” This is the truth!

By massaging the fibrous leaves, you bring out their sweetness and transform them into something tender and easier to digest.  Just chop up the kale, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, and use your fingers to rub the oil into the leaves.  After a minute or two, the leaves will begin to wilt and shrink. Trust me, you’ll notice the difference. This salad benefits from being dressed about 15 minutes before it is served. The acid in the dressing helps to break down the kale even more and yields a more tender green.

Kale Salad with Breadcrumb CroutonsKale Salad with Breadcrumb CroutonsKale Salad with Breadcrumb CroutonsKale Salad with Breadcrumb Croutons

 

Preparation for this salad is minimal.

Homemade croutons and salad dressing are always easy on the budget.

Simple. Inexpensive. Kale. Yum.

Kale Salad with Breadcrumb CroutonsKale Salad with Breadcrumb Croutons

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 slices of day old french bread (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • 2 bunches of Lacinato kale (about 8 cups), cleaned and dried
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • The juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: avocado and tomato

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place french bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping half way through until bread is crusty. Remove bread from the oven and cool. Tear bread into small (1/2 inch) pieces and toss with the melted butter, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder. Bake breadcrumb croutons for another 5-10 minutes until golden. Set aside and cool.
  2. Remove stems from kale and slice into thin ribbons.  Don’t forget to massage your kale!
  3. Prepare salad dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  4. Toss together kale and half of the dressing.  Be sure to allow salad to sit for approx 15 minutes. Add additional dressing to your preference. Top with Parmesan cheese and croutons (and avocado and tomato if you desire).

Servings 4 (Serving Size: 2 cups)

Salads

Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken

Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken

I’m writing this at 2pm on Friday of Labor Day weekend. We’ve all mailed it in at this point, right? We’re done doing “actual’ work. So, in the spirit of Labor Day, I give you this fantastic dish. Ideal for a lazy summer weekend afternoon. Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken.  Vibrantly flavored, full of crisp vegetables, and easily adaptable. (Did I throw in enough buzz terms there?)

I made a vinaigrette packed with fresh ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and a hint of heat from the chili paste. A subtle bit of spice. Just enough.  Soba noodles, often times labeled as buckwheat noodles, can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket. They’ve got a distinct flavor and sweetness. I love ’em.

Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with ChickenSesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with ChickenSesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken

Easily modified by using any variety of vegetables you have on hand.  Asparagus in your crisper drawer? Shave thin and toss it in (That was an unintentional rhyme). Bright and beautiful green beans at the farmers market? Quickly blanch along with the soba noodles during the last minute of cook time, then add ’em to the party.  Looking for a meatless meal? Simply leave the chicken out. You’re the boss.

Whip this dish together before fall flavors take over the market. Unique, delicious, and (obviously) a cinch to put together. Now, let’s get after this long weekend!

Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with ChickenSesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced or fresh ginger paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp chili paste
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 lb (2 large) boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine 2 tbsp canola oil, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp minced ginger, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp honey, and 1/2 tsp chili paste. Pulse until combined.  Pour sauce into a bowl, add toasted sesame seeds, and set aside.
  2. Cook soba noodles according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.  Add chicken, season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown and just cooked through.  Add 1/3 of the sauce to the chicken, toss to coat, remove from heat, and set aside.
  4. Toss together noodles, cucumber, carrots, red pepper, cilantro, green onion, chicken, and another 1/3 of the sauce.  Add additional sauce if necessary.
  5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Servings: 4

Breakfast Recipes, Salads

Asparagus, Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Asparagus, Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette4

 

I have to give you an excuse for going over a month between blog posts.  Would you believe I spent the last month in French Polynesia, retracing the last years of impressionist painter Paul Gauguin?  I wouldn’t either. (I’ll save that for next year.)

How about the fact that my good friend, chef Mario Batali, and I finally fulfilled our mutual dream of culinarily sailing the entire Great Lakes.  We only ate the fish we caught.  We prepared and cooked it all on our 35 foot Catalina sailboat.  Never came in to port for a month. You buy that excuse? (At least that one was regional.)

Or, maybe … just maybe, I got engaged. Yup.  That one’s actually true!

Between the many celebrations, and an actual work conference (my blog isn’t my “job” … yet), my time for posting was a bit gobbled up.  Fear not, my friends.  I’m back in the kitchen.  Excelsior!

Onward and upward, indeed, with this dish.  My, oh my!  Asparagus, hard boiled egg, and bacon … a match made in heaven. (See what I did there? He, he. I couldn’t resist.)  When tossed with a Dijon vinaigrette, this heavenly match becomes even more divine.

When asparagus is in season, buy fresh from the market and use within a day or two.  When asparagus is not in season, easily substitute green beans.  I typically keep hard boiled eggs on hand for an easy grab and go snack.  Thus, this salad comes together in a jiffy.  The minimal ingredient list makes this recipe inexpensive to put together.  A low carb, high protein, gluten-free breakfast / lunch for two.  Cooking for two just got a whole lot easier and a whole lot more meaningful 😉

Asparagus, Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon VinaigretteAsparagus, Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette1Asparagus, Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette2Asparagus, Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette4

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends discarded and cut on a bias into bite size pieces (substitute green beans in off season)
  • 2-4 hard boiled eggs (how to cook hard boiled eggs), sliced into thirds and seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain on a paper towel.  Once cooled, crumble into small pieces.
  2. Discard all but 1 tbsp of bacon grease from skillet. Return skillet to medium heat and add asparagus.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until tender.
  3. Prepare vinaigrette by whisking together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the asparagus onto 2 plates. Top each plate with equal amounts of crumbled bacon and hard boiled egg slices.  Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Servings: 2

Pasta Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian Recipes

Roasted Tomato and Arugula Pasta Salad

Roasted Tomato and Arugula Pasta Salad

 

I’ve got roasted garlic and tomatoes, and I’ve got feta cheese, and I’ve got arugula, and I’ve got artichokes, and I’ve got a deliciously lemony dressing.  And, you may partake with me on one condition; that you listen to (read) my short rant about Spring weather in Chicago.  Those of you not dealing with these same weather conditions, just bare with me!

Mother Nature is currently unleashing her full schizophrenic arsenal on us.  One day the temperature “soars” to 60F.  The next day brings partial snow flurries and blustery winds followed by multiple days of perma-gray skies.  This time of year has me craving bright Spring flavors while simultaneously hankering for Winter comfort foods.  This dish is a lovely and beautiful combination of the two.

The produce isn’t exactly “there” yet.  My easy fix … roasting my veggies.  Roasting tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness and concentrates the flavor.  The juice from the tomatoes combines with the vinaigrette.  This coats the pasta, adding a fat free component to the sauce.  The same goes for the roasted garlic.

Roasted Tomato and Arugula Pasta SaladRoasted Tomato and Arugula Pasta SaladRoasted Tomato and Arugula Pasta Salad

 

If you live in a warm weather climate, just chalk my above rant up to ‘another Midwesterner complaining about the weather.’  If you’re here with me … Just chalk my above rant up to ‘another Midwesterner complaining about the weather.’  Either way, this dish is not weather discriminant.  Great when served cold or at room temperature.  Light and bright, yet hearty and comforting.  The answer to this cold/warm/cold/warm weather.

Roasted Tomato and Arugula Pasta SaladRoasted Tomato and Arugula Pasta Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 16oz whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 sprig rosemary (optional: I add rosemary to all of my roasted vegetables because I have a rosemary plant on my windowsill garden, this can easily be left out if you do not have it on hand.)
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • A small handful of basil, about 1/8 cup, julienned
  • 15oz can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 4-6 cups arugula
  • 1 cup feta crumbled (or substitute 8 oz container ciliegine “small cherry” fresh mozzarella balls)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of boiling salted water.  For al dente, my whole wheat penne took 15 minutes.  Drain and run under water to cool and stop the cooking.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine cherry tomatoes with 2 tsp olive oil, garlic cloves, fresh rosemary, salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Cook for 20-25 minutes until tomatoes are soft, slightly charred, and some are just bursting. Discard rosemary and mince the freshly roasted garlic. Set aside to be added to the salad dressing.
  3. To make the vinaigrette, combine 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced roasted garlic, fresh basil, salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Give the dressing a good whisk. If using a mason jar,  give a few shakes.
  4. Combine cooked pasta, artichokes, and scallions with 1/2 of the dressing, and toss to coat. Add the fresh arugula and roasted tomatoes. Toss again *being careful not to crush the tomatoes.*  Add additional vinaigrette to your taste.  Note: The tomatoes are delicate and contain a lot of juice, so be careful when tossing.  Also, if the tomatoes burst, the tomato juice will add liquid and become part of the vinaigrette, so be careful not to over dress.
  5. Top with feta or mozzarella cheese.

Servings: 10 servings
Serving size: 1 cup – 1 1/2 cups (depending on the amount of arugula added)

Salads, Vegetarian Recipes

Arugula and Cauliflower Salad with Farro, Feta and Avocado

Arugula and Cauliflower Salad with Farro, Feta and Avocado

 

Stuck in a salad rut?  Well, not anymore.

This one has a fantastic variety of delicious and beautiful attributes.  Time to bust that salad rut!  (That sounds kinda weird, but I’m gonna roll with it.)

Charred cauliflower is a fun and unique salad ingredient.  When combined with the nutty farro, a hearty quality is achieved without taking away from the salad’s inherent light/healthiness.  Farro is a simple hearty grain with high contents of fiber, protein, and iron.  I adore adding it to soups and salads, and I often use it as a substitute for pasta or rice.  If you are a farro novice, check out Bob’s Red Mill Organic Farro.  This cooks up easily and perfectly every time.

A few more bright ingredients and a simple lemon vinaigrette dressing round things out.  Look at these pictures … There’s too much delicious harmony in this salad for any type of rut to continue.

Arugula and Cauliflower Salad with Farro, Feta and AvocadoArugula and Cauliflower Salad with Farro, Feta and AvocadoArugula and Cauliflower Salad with Farro, Feta and AvocadoArugula and Cauliflower Salad with Farro, Feta and AvocadoArugula and Cauliflower Salad with Farro, Feta and Avocado

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup uncooked farro, rinsed (I like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Farro)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 7 oz. bag arugula
  • 20 pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 ounces feta, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 avocado, sliced into thin strips
  • Simple Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 shallot minced, 1 garlic clove minced, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp honey, salt and black pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway, until the cauliflower is tender and golden.
  2. Next, prepare the lemon vinaigrette . Combine 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 minced shallot, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp honey, salt and black pepper; mix well.  I like to prepare this vinaigrette in a mason jar. Simply combine the ingredients, attach lid, and shake.
  3. Meanwhile, cook farro. In a medium saucepan, combine farro, 3 cups of water (enough water to cover the farro by a couple of inches) and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.  Cook until the farro is tender to the bite but still a little chewy (about 30 minutes). Drain off the excess water and rinse well.  Allow farro to drain well to remove as much water as possible.  Toss cooked and cooled farro with a small amount of vinaigrette and 2 tbsp fresh parsley. (Note: Check the cooking instructions on the bag of farro you purchased. Shorter or longer cook times may be required depending on the type used.)
  4. In a large serving bowl, toss together arugula and 1/3 cup salad dressing. Add the roasted cauliflower, reserved farro, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, feta and capers.
  5. Top salad with avocado and additional salad dressing if desired.

Servings: 3 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish

 

Salads, Vegetarian Recipes

Fall Quinoa and Kale Salad

Quinoa and Kale Fall Salad

 

Take a look at this salad.  Tell me that doesn’t look beautiful and delicious.  But don’t actually tell me that, or type me that, or whatever … because you know it’s not true.  You know this baby looks fantastic.  What you may not know is the little trick I used to make it taste even better.  Here it is.

I massaged my greens.  No kidding. I  showed my kale some love and it reciprocated with taste.

Quinoa and Kale Fall SaladQuinoa and Kale Fall SaladQuinoa and Kale Fall SaladQuinoa and Kale Fall Salad

 

Kale makes a delicious and healthy salad green, but it can also be tough and bitter.  By massaging the fibrous leaves, you bring out their sweetness and transform them into something tender and easier to digest.  Just chop up the kale, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, and use your fingers to rub the oil into the leaves.  After a minute or two, the leaves will begin to wilt and shrink.  Trust me, you will notice the difference.

This kale is tossed with quinoa, roasted butternut squash, rosemary and garlic toasted walnuts, dried cranberries and creamy goat cheese.  Finally, it’s finished with a tangy apple cider vinaigrette.  Perfect balance.  I love the varying autumn colors, flavors, and textures.  Serve as a meatless main for a few, or as a side dish for a group.  Beautiful, seasonal, and delicious.

Quinoa and Kale Fall SaladQuinoa and Kale Fall SaladQuinoa and Kale Fall Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, cut into cubes (5-6 cups)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale, about 1 lb
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove, skin removed and left whole
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Apple cider vinaigrette:
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2/3 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
    • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1 shallot, finely diced
    • 1 garlic clove, minced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss chopped butternut squash cubes with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, tossing half way through.
  2. Thoroughly rinse quinoa under running water.  In a small pan, bring 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of water to a boil over high heat.  Once liquid is boiling, add quinoa, stir well, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.  Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.  Fluff quinoa with a fork and cool to room temperature.  Alternatively, follow cooking directions on package.
  3. While the  butternut squash and quinoa cook, prepare the walnuts.  In a saute pan over medium-low heat add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil.  Add garlic, rosemary, walnuts, salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often, until walnuts are toasted and golden.  (Keep a close eye on these, they will burn easily.) Remove garlic and rosemary, and chop toasted walnuts –Look at you, you just made rosemary and garlic toasted walnuts! —  (Note: Do not throw out the garlic clove that just roasted with the walnuts, here is an Emily tip – slather that goodness on a piece of toasted bread.  What chef doesn’t love a little snack mid cooking session.)
  4. Wash, remove stems, and finely shop kale.  Put kale in serving bowl, add 2 tsp of olive oil and massage with your hands for 2 minutes.  This will help to wilt the kale.
  5. Next, prepare the salad dressing.  Combine apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, honey, shallot, and garlic in a mason jar.  Secure lid and give it a good shake.  Alternatively, whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.
  6. Salad assembly time – Add the cooled quinoa to the kale and toss with half of the vinaigrette.  Top with butternut squash, walnuts, cranberries, and goat cheese.  Toss again and add additional salad dressing if needed.   Note: I only used half of the vinaigrette and saved the rest to dress a salad later in the week.

Servings: 4-6 as a side dish (2-3 as a main dish)

Quinoa and Kale Fall Salad