Quinoa, Lentil, and Kale Salad

Last night, Mike and I put a huge dent in that bowl of leftover Halloween candy. I don’t want to think about it. At least we had this for dinner…nothing like kale and lentils to make you feel really healthy, even if you just ate far too many Whoppers and peanut butter cups.

I was so excited about my race this weekend that I decided to sign up for a few more. I’m already doing the Oakland half marathon in March and the Big Sur marathon in April, but now I’ve added two other races to my calendar.

In January, I will be running a very challenging 21 KM trail race in Pacifica. Check out the elevation gain…2900 feet total!

Looks painful and awesome at the same time.

Then in July I’m running the 2nd Half Marathon in San Francisco.

I’ve done the first half and the full before, so this will round it all out. The course isn’t terribly inspiring, but the weather is pretty much always perfect and a bunch of my friends are running it, so I couldn’t resist signing up.

Now I just need to keep increasing mileage without injuring myself. So far the running every other day plan is working really well. I did 6 miles yesterday, planning on 5 tomorrow, and I might be doing an 8K race on Sunday.

Grain-based salads like this always make me feel like I’m eating well. This one has a lot of protein coming from the quinoa and lentils, and the lemon dressing and sun-dried tomatoes keep it tasting bright and fresh. It makes a lot, so if you don’t like left-overs you might want to halve the recipe.

Recipe:

1 cup french green lentils
1 cup quinoa
3 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (4-5 cups)
1 large avocado, diced

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
pinch each salt, pepper, and sugar

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for about 15 minutes, then drain and chop finely.

While the tomatoes are soaking, put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with about 2 inches of water. Add a pinch of salt and boil for about 20 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Rinse and drain.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add the quinoa, turn the heat down to low, and simmer, covered, until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, let stand about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the kale and stir fry until wilted and bright green, 4-5 minutes.

Combine the quinoa, lentils, kale, and tomatoes in a large bowl and mix well.

Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together with a pinch each of salt, pepper, and sugar. Pour over the salad and toss well. Taste and add salt and additional lemon juice if necessary.

Serve topped with diced avocado.

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