Sweet Kale and Quinoa Salad Recipe


Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa as directed on the package. Whether you let it cool or keep it warm is entirely up to you!
  2. Arrange chopped pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes, stirring at least once. When they start to turn darker and develop that nice aroma, they’re ready to come out. You can also toast pecans in a skillet on medium heat, stirring often. Let them cool and chop into pieces. (For more tips on toasting pecans, see below.)
  3. Assemble the Sweet Kale Chopped Kit: add the toppings and dressing, then top with a scoop of quinoa and a sprinkling of toasted pecans. 
  4. Toss, serve, and enjoy!

There are plenty of salad recipes out there that combine kale, quinoa, cranberries, and a sweet dressing—but none are quite as easy as this one, thanks to the easy-peasy Sweet Kale Chopped Kit. If you have a bit of leftover quinoa in the fridge, it just got even easier, and what you have on your hands is a tasty, well-rounded lunch or dinner.

In this recipe, we’re combining Super Foods like Marvel combines superheroes. Quinoa and pecans join forces with kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radicchio, cranberries and pumpkin seeds—all topped with a creamy poppyseed dressing.

Why Add Quinoa (and Pecans) to a Perfectly Good Salad?

This is a legitimate question. You’d have to turn on your stove and possibly even your oven. Is that level of effort really worth it?
We have three main reasons you’ll want to say an emphatic yes to these bonus ingredients:

Flavor

At Taylor Farms, we’re all about flavor combinations that are as surprising as they are perfect. This chopped kit already combines kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radicchio, cranberries and pumpkin seeds, so adding quinoa and pecans gives you a nice layer of complex, nutty flavor.

Texture

The Sweet Kale is one of the crunchiest salads we make. The toasted pecans and quinoa give you a chewy bite that complements the crunch of the veggies. Heartiness in a forkful!

Added nutrients

Get this: Adding quinoa gives you 2 extra grams of protein and 1.5 extra grams of fiber to each serving, and the pecans give you 3 more g protein and 3 more g fiber, for a total of—drumroll, please—10 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber. Woah!

How to Toast Pecans Without Burning Them!

It’s ok; toasting pecans (or any other nuts) can be tricky, but it’s oh-so worth it. Toasting the nuts brings out the flavor and changes the texture slightly. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did!

Here are some tips:

  1. If you can, start with larger pecan pieces. They will toast more evenly than chopped pieces that may not be the same size, and take our word for it, those little bits toast incredibly fast and it’s easy to burn them. 
  2. Now to the toasting!
    The stovetop method: using a skillet over medium heat, toast your pecans until they become fragrant and darker in color (no need for oil or cooking spray). Stir them frequently to prevent burning or uneven cooking.
    The oven or toaster oven method: Sprinkle the pecans evenly on a rimmed cookie sheet or 13 x 9 pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes, making sure to stir them at least once, halfway through. They will suddenly smell well, toasty, and that will tell you it’s time.  If you have a toaster oven, it’s especially easy to peek at the toasting progress and whip them out if they start to get too dark
  3. Let the pecans cool on a dry surface. If not chopped yet, go for it. Sprinkle on your Sweet Kale and Quinoa salad and enjoy!

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