Of us Three Many Cooks, Sharon is the one who frequently gets funny tummy when she eats dairy. That Green Valley Organics sour cream, yogurt, and kefir are lactose-free is a plus for Sharon, but Maggy and I just love the quality of the Green Valley Organics products. Their sour cream is the best we’ve ever tasted.
Recently Green Valley Organics asked me to develop a kefir recipe for the New Year. Since I often equate kefir with breakfast-y sweet dishes, I decided to take this ingredient a savory direction as a cozy cool weather lunch or dinner.
The result was Quinoa-Kale Salad with Kefir-Cumin Dressing. I was thrilled when I got word the folks at Green Valley loved the salad. I was even more thrilled when I got the evaluation back from their dietitian, Tamara Duker. Here’s what she said.
“If ever there was a Platonic ideal of a superfood salad, this would have to be it. Its composed primarily of the food world’s most nutrient dense plant (kale) paired with one of its most nutritious grains (quinoa) – both loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. I love this salad for vegetarians especially – a salad that delivers protein AND iron from the beans and quinoa, as well as calcium from the kale and kefir dressing… is a rare salad indeed! For those folks trying to choose more whole foods with anti-inflammatory benefits, this salad also fits the bill: it’s got unprocessed whole grain quinoa, complex carbs from beans, inflammation-taming probiotics from the kefir dressing, and a medley of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices.”
So there you have it. A salad so good you can’t stop eating it, that also happens to be good for you.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons course grain Dijon mustard
- ½ cup plain Green Valley Organics kefir
- Salt and ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cups finely chopped washed kale
- 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) kidney beans, drained
- ½ cup apricots, thinly sliced
- ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat a large saucepan or small Dutch oven over medium heat. Add quinoa and toast until fragrant and slightly darker in color, a couple of minutes. Add 2 cups of water, cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is fully cooked, about 20 minutes longer. Cool quinoa to lukewarm.
- Meanwhile make dressing by whisking garlic, cumin, mustard, kefir, pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Slowly whisk in oil to make a thick, flavorful dressing.
- Place remaining ingredients—kale, kidney beans, apricots, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add warm quinoa and the dressing; toss to coat. Serve!