As we hang up our scarves and put the boots at the back of the closet, we smile as the we hear a few birds sing their song outside. The air has a fresh smell, the sky is blue, and heavy jackets are exchanged for lighter layers.

The spring and summer are generally reserved for lighter lunches and BBQ dinners that are eaten with forks and fingers as opposed to spoons. We lay down the soup and stew ladles, pick up the tongs, and walk out to our yards/decks/patios, and enjoy the longer evenings.

With Spring around the corner, it inspired us at ecoki to bring you a Spring inspired dish, with a few flavours of the previous season still lingering. This warm salad is a marriage of wintry kale, quinoa, tomatoes and peppers, drizzled with hemp oil and a burst of fresh lemon. The combination of flavours meets an equilibrium, balancing rich and subtle tastes all at once.

Quinoa and hemp are both nutrition powerhouses, and adding leafy greens in your diet daily is one of the best things you can do for your body.

With just a few ingredients and about half an hour, this warm dish makes a perfect lunch for two or side for a couple more.quinoa-kale

Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad

for the quinoa:
1 1/3 cup water
2/3 cup quinoa, dry
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

for the kale:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
10 cups kale, thick stems removed, sliced in ribbons (packed)

for the rest of the salad:
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, minced (just the whites)
1 large lemon wedge
2 teaspoons hemp oil + more for drizzling if desired
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa, salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Reduce to medium low, cover, and let simmer for about 13 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil for the kale in a large saucepan. Add garlic, and saute for about 30 seconds, then add kale. Saute until softened, until desired consistency, depending how you like your greens.

When both are finished, toss quinoa, kale, tomatoes, pepper and scallions all together. Drizzle with lemon and hemp oil, and season to taste. Divide onto dishes and drizzle with more hemp oil if desired.

This is also delicious served cold.

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Read more about quinoa
Read more about hemp
Read more about greens


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