It's official. As of last Friday, FALL IS HERE!!!
So let's waste no time jumping right into delectable fall goodies.
Like this Fall Quinoa Salad - chock full of seasonal goodies like curly kale, cranberries, and golden beets.
Whole grain salads are one of my favorite things to make each fall.
They're so easy to throw together and can be customized to feature whatever vegetables look the best at the market that day.
Since they can make a HUGE batch, they're perfect for when you have family and friends over for pumpkin carving, or even just to cook up on Sunday and feed yourself for lunch all week!
Plus, since the weather is cooling down, you don't have to worry so much about turning on the oven, so you can incorporate some deliciously roasted vegetables into your dish. (Not gunna lie, I look forward to those all summer!)
While you can certainly throw together a pilaf with any whole grain, I really like to use TruRoots Organic Quinoa.
It's organic, pre-washed, and ready in just 15 minutes. Plus you can stock up and buy the gigantic 2lb package that will last you forever.
I'm dropping some nutrition nerdiness right now.
Did you know that quinoa is one of the few complete protein sources for vegetarians?
This means that quinoa has all the essential amino acids (the ones you have to get in your diet since your body can't make them) in each and every grain, just like animal products!
This also means it's nice and filling and will keep you satisfied for hours.
Want to whip up this delicious kale and quinoa salad?
It's ready in about an hour, and is pretty freaking easy!
How to make kale and quinoa salad:
- Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or on the stove.
- Roast some cauliflower and golden beets.
- Toss the two together with kale, almonds, pepitas, cranberries, and cheese.
- Drizzle with a homemade lemon-honey dressing and you're done!
Fall Quinoa Salad with Kale, Cranberries, and Golden BeetsPrint
- 1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 4 golden beets, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 10 oz bag of pre-chopped curly kale
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¾ cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup roasted salted pepitas
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 7 oz Gruyere cheese, diced
- 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- First, cook the quinoa in 3 cups of water until tender and the water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). I used a rice cooker so I could set it and forget it, but you can also cook it on the stovetop. To do so, place the quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the saucepan, and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed. When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff it with a fork and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chopped cauliflower and beets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the veggies to coat evenly, then shake to redistribute across the baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and golden. When they are done, add the vegetables to the large serving bowl with the quinoa.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and sliced garlic. Saute, stirring often to prevent the garlic from burning, until the kale is bright green and just tender (about 5 minutes). Add the kale and garlic to the bowl with the quinoa and roasted vegetables.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, and honey. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Add the almonds, pepitas, cranberries, gruyere, and Parmesan cheese to the serving bowl and pour the dressing on top. Toss until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Serve right away!