Quinoa Kale Salad with Red Grapes

Kale is quirky; with the right touch it shines like an emerald and tastes delish, but if you ignore a few key steps it can resemble Astroturf. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to get on kale’s good side. Once it’s ripped and stripped it loves a bath in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. This spa treatment break down the kale’s fibers, making it easier to digest (the olive oil’s fat also increases the bioavailability of kale’s fat-soluble nutrients). I’ve included mint, parsley, quinoa, cumin, and coriander in the dish and added one additional surprise: red grapes. There’s something about chomping on a sweet grape that’s just joyous, and the anthocyanins that give the grape its deep color are also phenomenal antioxidants, with other studies showing they may also enhance memory.

Makes 4 servings

1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water
2 cups kale, stemmed and finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon coriander
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup fresh mint, lightly packed and chopped
¼ cups fresh parsley, lightly packed and chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup of organic red seedless grapes cut in half

Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well under cold running water.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and cover. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, (stirring once halfway through) until the quinoa is just tender. Remove from the heat and allow the quinoa to rest for 10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.

While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes and olive oil together in a large bowl. Add the kale and give it a quick massage with your hands. Add the quinoa, mint, parsley lemon zest and raisins or grapes and toss lightly to combine. Serve at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.