Thursday, May 29, 2014

RecipeTime - The Perfect Summer Salad

The end result on my first try at Kale, Quinoa & 
Shrimp salad! #nofilter
Being social led me to have kale twice within five days, and, I liked it! So, obviously, it led to searching for a recipe that seemed appealing enough to try at home as I wanted to realistically incorporate it into my life. In addition to kale I wanted a recipe that included quinoa in order to ensure a super charged meal. 

This craving led me to a recipe for a Kale, Quinoa, Red Pepper and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette, which I proceeded to enhance by adding roasted shrimp!

I am obsessed!

Being that I had never cooked quinoa, roasted shrimp, nor had I steamed kale before I was a bit nervous to embark in this experiment. My sister, whom is my roommate, told me not to count her in for the meal but that she would have a taste. However, I recognized the greatness in the flavors called for in the recipe and simply knew that, should I properly cook the before mentioned ingredients, it would be a successfully scrumptious meal. So give it a try! Whether for a pot-luck, hosting friends, or simply feeding yourself and yours' this makes for a refreshing and delicious, not to mention healthy, choice!

Lets get to it...

The recipe yields one large salad and serves four large plates making for a complete meal ready to serve in 40 min!

⅔ cup quinoa
1 ⅓ cups water
1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
½  avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
1 chopped cucumber
1 chopped red bell pepper (discard seeds)
¼ of a large red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese or cotija cheese

⅔ pound raw peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon, squeezed
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
¾  teaspoon sea salt
¼  teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean shrimp leaving tails on and pat dry. Either mix in resealable bag or toss in a bowl: shrimp, olive oil, salt and peppers. Place on sheet pan spread in one layer. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes until they are pink and firm to touch. Set aside to cool
  2. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa to boiling water with a dash of salt and sprinkle of olive oil and whisk for 1 minute (this prevents clumping). Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 14 to 16 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place kale in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a saucepan. Cover saucepan with a lid and steam kale until hot, about 45 seconds; transfer to a large plate. Top kale with shrimp, quinoa, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and feta cheese.
  4. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until the oil emulsifies into the dressing; pour over the salad.

Bon Appetit!

Credit where credit is due: Salad based on Kale, Quinoa, and Avocado with lemon dijon vinaigrette salad from AllRecipes & Roasted shrimp learned from Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp Cocktail published on FoodNetwork!

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