Coconut Quinoa and Kale Salad

Kale should be on everyone’s Top 10 lists of foods to eat but a lot of people don’t eat it because they say it is too tough to eat.  Cut out the ribs (stems) and chop into bite size pieces to soften it up and when it is mixed with the warm quinoa in this salad, the kale softens even more.

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 small bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped (for a total of about 4 cups chopped kale)
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion (soak the chopped onion in water for 15 mins to take the “bite” out of it before adding)
  • 1/3 cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes

Cilantro-Cashew Pesto

  • 2 cups cilantro, packed
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews toasted lightly
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Combine coconut milk and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add quinoa, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and mix in the red onion. Cover and set aside.

Make the pesto: combine cilantro, cashews and garlic in a food processor. Start processing the mixture, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, lime juice and red pepper flakes, all to taste, and blend well.

In a medium serving bowl, combine the warm coconut quinoa, chopped kale and pesto. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a skillet over medium heat, toast the coconut flakes for a few minutes until golden and fragrant, stirring often. Top the salad with coconut flakes and serve warm.