Vegan and Gluten-Free Warm Quinoa Salad

Vegan and Gluten-Free Warm Quinoa SaladA warm salad packed full of good-for-you kale and quinoa is the perfect warm weather salad … yes, it really is. You don’t always want a cold salad do you? They can get old after awhile, so things need to change. And having quinoa for energy and kale for looks – well, there is nothing better. Unless you add the dressing / sauce. Because wow. Tangy and delicious. Don’t ask me why I am all about the tang this week, but vinegar sure does light up the taste buds. And the kale sure did seem to love it. I hope your weather isn’t as horrible as ours is, although I’m sure everywhere is disgusting hot (yuck!), but you can break out the pan and pot and whip up this vegan and gluten-free Warm Quinoa Salad.

This salad is so awesome. There is just something about carbs and veggies … Okay, that sounds a little weird but if you’re going to eat some carbs then load them up with veggies too, to loosen up the guilt. I have carb-guilt, I can’t help it. I eat them instead of avoiding them, so I am on a forward path to greatness. Because believe me when I say, I literally didn’t eat carbs (that weren’t in fruit or veggies) for a few months and, yes. My body felt terrible. No energy and foggy-headed. I just can’t run on no carbs – and that means exercising too. I don’t know why we need carbs for energy and they have to be so calorific, but they are. And we do. So I am trying to come to terms with it and move on. In comes quinoa – because what’s better at getting your carbs then eating a carb with substantial protein in it? I used to only make quinoa with water because why use extra calories or sodium by cooking it in broth, but then I made the most amazingly tasty Roasted Breakfast Nutrient Bowl and cooked the brown rice and quinoa in broth. Game changer. The quinoa I cooked for this recipe? Thank goodness it finished at the same time as the kale and zucchini, because I was so ready to dive in with a spoon and devour it. Seriously, try it sometime. And adding spices in with it? I need to rethink this whole loving carb thing after cooking this. And let me just give a little love to roasted garlic. If you think you don’t like garlic, try roasting it just once. It will change your life. I probably should have named this blog Garlic Lover or something like that, because it is really the best thing in the world. And roasted garlic turns out so creamy! I roasted up two bulbs while making up another recipe – I mean why heat the house unnecessarily, right? I only used one for this recipe and the other one went in the awesome Italian Dressing Hummus.

Warm Quinoa Salad (4) Warm Quinoa Salad (5) Warm Quinoa Salad (6) Warm Quinoa Salad (3)

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Start by getting your garlic roasting. If you are making it just for this recipe then get it in first thing then take your time doing everything else because it’ll be awhile since you have to wait for it to cool enough to handle. If doing a few in advance then yay! For either option just cut the top off the garlic and take as much outer papery bits off that you can then place in the middle of a piece of foil. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of black pepper then roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. For the quinoa just bring the quinoa and broth to a boil then turn to simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Wash and take kale off the stems. I used two big bunches so I chopped and dropped as the cutting board got full. Heat a large sauté pan with a little olive oil and dump in the kale. Add about a 1/2 cup of broth to help get things moving. The extra broth is to help the kale and zucchini soften while adding flavor with adding a crap-ton of oil. Then just chop the shallots and add then zucchini, adding more and more broth as it cooks away. Sprinkle the pepper over the zucchini and keep mixing. The veggies are done once the zucchini is just fork tender. Make the sauce then dump in the pan then add the quinoa and mix. Let cook 5-10 minutes to combine all the flavors. Then enjoy!

Warm Quinoa Salad (3) Warm Quinoa Salad (7) Warm Quinoa Salad (1) Warm Quinoa Salad (8)Vegan and Gluten-Free Warm Quinoa Salad~

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Warm Quinoa Salad (2)Warm Quinoa Salad,

1 C Dry Quinoa
3 1/2 C Imagine Foods Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
2 Bunches Kale, washed and sliced thin
2 Large Shallots, chopped
1 Medium Zucchini, chopped small
1 Bulb Roasted Garlic
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Star Fine Foods Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Parsley, minced

1. Cut top off garlic and place in a square of foil. Sprinkle with olive oil and black pepper and fold foil around garlic. Pop in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.
2. Bring quinoa and 2 cups broth to a boil then cover and simmer 15 minutes or until all liquid is gone. Fluff with a fork when done.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Warm Quinoa Salad3. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into a large saute pan.
4. Slice and dump kale into saute pan at medium-low heat.
5. Chop shallots and add to the saute pan adding about a 1/2 cup and mix. Add more broth as needed as the kale wilts.
6. Chop zucchini and add to pan and sprinkle pepper over the veggies and mix. Add more broth to start cooking the zucchini.
7. In a small bowl pour the 3 tablespoons broth, the vinegar, mustard, syrup and squeeze in the garlic, and a little olive oil. If needed to break up the garlic, use the back of a spoon to mash on the cutting board. Mix well.
8. Pour over the veggies and mix well.
9. Dump in the quinoa and mix all together. Let sit about 10 minutes to combine flavors adding more broth if needed.
10. Enjoy!

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