Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Kale

Say that 5 times fast…

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 Ok I have a confession… this recipe was my husbands idea! What?!? I know…He didn’t come up with the “recipe” part of it… that was me, so I’m taking some credit.

I came home from the store with a bag of beautifully bright and colorful carrots, and my husband asked what I planned on making with them.  At the store I hadn’t really decided on anything to make, but they were pretty so of course I needed to buy them.  I LOVE roasted carrots so I was thinking something along those lines when he suggested a carrot salad.  What a great idea!  I didn’t want the regular, old carrot salad… like the ones people put raisins and pineapple in… ugh! Another thought that I had while I was peeling them was how pretty the ribbons of carrots were from the peel.  So, instead of putting them through the food processor all I did was just use the carrot peeler to create these pretty ribbons.  Then, I added some of the flavors I love…dijon mustard, lemon, sour cream, and dill!  What could make this better?  Crispy Kale!  My husband and I were at a sushi restaurant recently and one of the rolls was topped with this amazingly crispy kale.  I’m pretty sure they flash-fried it to get that paper thin crunch, but I was determined to figure out a healthy way to make it at home.  There are TWO secrets to getting kale to be crispy: cooking spray and a cooling rack.  The cooking spray evenly coats the kale without making it soggy, and the cooling rack placed over the baking sheet allows the heat to surround the kale which gets both sides get nice and crispy.

Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Kale

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Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Kale
  • 2lbs of carrots; look for the long ones not the baby carrots
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme; slightly chopped
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup fresh dill; slightly chopped
  • 6-8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 bunches of fresh kale
  • cooking spray
  • nutmeg (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack on top of the foil
  3. Remove the kale from the stems and rinse
  4. Dry the kale completely and place it on the cooling rack
  5. Spray the kale evenly with cooking spray
  6. Sprinkle with a little salt and nutmeg (if using)
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes OR until the kale is crisp to the touch; careful not to let it burn
  8. Allow to cool
  9. Peel the outsides off of the carrots
  10. Use the same peeler to peel the carrots to create the ribbons for the salad
  11. Do this by running the peeler back and forth on the carrot on all sides; don't worry if you can't peel all the way down to the center
  12. Place the carrot ribbons in a large bowl and add in the quinoa
  13. In another bowl combine the lemon juice, mustard, sour cream, and thyme
  14. Whisk in 6 tablespoons of olive oil; if it seems to thick you can add more olive oil
  15. Salt and pepper to taste
  16. Pour the dressing over the carrot and quinoa mixture and toss to miss
  17. Stir in the dill
  18. Place on a plate and top with the cooled crispy kale


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