Who else loses all motivation for creativity in cooking dinners when the humidity and heat is 200% outside? I know I am not alone here, and while I can honestly say that I absolutely love the heat, I don't particularly love cooking when its really hot outside. My kitchen just feels stuffy, washing dishes sounds exhausting (we don't have a dishwasher), and all I want is an iced tea and juicy summer peach in my hand, preferably at the beach.
But since I cannot live on iced green tea and fruit salad all summer long, I have been absolutely loving coming up with quick and easy dinners that can be contained in one-two pots. Honestly, most of the time these dinners are created based on what is left in our fridge from the farmers market that week, but they don't always come out to be share worthy. This salad on the other hand was incredible, it was such a nice surprise and when my sister and fiancé told me that I should probably enter into some form of Vegetarian Chopped I knew that we had a winner. I mean really, did my meat loving fiancé really just get excited over kale and cabbage?
What I love about this salad is that there is no lettuce. This is where I want everyone to listen up. SALADS DO NOT NEED TO BE BORING. Nor do they need to contain lettuce, or leave you feeling hungry. They can be hearty, satisfying, totally surprising, and honestly I believe that far more people would eat lots of veggies if they could just step out of the salad box a bit. I promise that it is worth it, and a total lunch/dinner/life game changer.
Kale and Cabbage Rainbow Salad
- 1/2 cup quinoa (always rinse first)
- 1 large bunch of kale
- 1/2 head of red cabbage
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup shredded almonds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/3 cup scallions
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup drained black beans
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
- Rinse and wash all vegetables.
- Boil 1 cup of water and add 1/2 cup of rinsed quinoa, lower water to simmer and allow quinoa to cook for about 15 minutes, or until water has been absorbed by the quinoa. Then remove from heat.
- Begin to tear kale away from the thick stem and place in a large (oiled) sauce pan. Massage 1/2 tbsp of olive oil into the kale with your fingers.
- Dice scallions and add to the sauce pan
- Begin to cook on low allowing the scallions to cook and kale to wilt
- Cabbage can be shredded by chopping into thin stripping.
- Add cabbage to saucepan and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, just to allow the cabbage to soften slightly, you want to remain some of the cabbage crunch.
- Chop remaining vegetables into small bite size pieces.
- Remove sauce pan from stove and add remaining vegetables, nuts, and spices.
- Add quinoa to the sauce pan with vegetables and mix together.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.