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Kale Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Farmer Cheese

Our second Thanksgiving recipe creation is a nutritional powerhouse – Kale Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Farmers Cheese. So good.

When it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes, most tables are stacked with starchy casseroles, sugary fruit salads and butter-drenched vegetables laced with “cream of something” soup. While they can be absolutely delicious (once again, Green Bean Casserole?), they’re also heavy and leave us feeling fuller than we’d like.

To combat side dish sabotage, we’ve developed a simple kale and quinoa salad. On any regular night, this dish could substitute for a light dinner, as it’s full of complete proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Served in smaller portions, it makes a great addition to a Thanksgiving plate for anyone who is watching what they eat.

What We Love About It

What’s not to love? Made with readily available, seasonal ingredients, this salad provides a spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

Kale – Kale contains vitamins A, C, and K and folate. It also contains 3 grams of protein in one cup

Quinoa – quinoa is a plant-based complete protein and is full of fiber, lysine and magnesium

Pomegranate – pomegranate is high in antioxidants and vitamins A and K

Cranberries – cranberries contain antioxidants and are a known anti-inflammatory

Nuts – nuts provide an assortment of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals (they differ per nut)

Lifeway Farmer Cheese – our high protein, low fat, probiotic-rich soft cheese

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Kale Quinoa Salad with Cranberry and Orange

Salad

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • One bunch of Lacinato/Tuscan kale
  • Dash of salt

Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ tsp raw honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1½ Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp minced shallot
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Topping

Rinse quinoa with running water until the water runs clear. Transfer rinsed quinoa to a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Continue to about 12-15 minutes, or until the water is gone (be careful not to overcook).

Prep the kale by washing and drying it well. Remove the stems and finely dice or chop the kale into bite sized pieces. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

After the quinoa has cooled for five minutes (but is still hot), fluff with a fork and transfer to the bowl with the kale. Mix well and let cool completely. The heat from the quinoa “cooks” the kale, making it more palatable.

In a small blender or food processor, blend the ingredients for the dressing. Pour dressing over kale/quinoa mixture and toss in nuts, pomegranate and dried cranberries. Top with a heaping ¼ cup of Farmer Cheese and mix with a salt and pepper to taste. Alternatively, serve salad into individual bowls and top with dollops of Farmer Cheese.

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