Shredded Kale Salad with Quinoa, Toasted Walnuts, Cranberries & Carrots


I have a love hate relationship with kale. But this salad is moving me toward love. I think it is the cranberries that do it – they offset the bitterness of the kale perfectly. You can use whatever dressing you love. I always have my tahini dressing on hand. Make as much or as little as you want. These measurements are for one regulation sized bunch of lacinato kale.

serves 2 to 3

1 bunch kale
1 cup toasted walnuts
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 carrots
6 scallions

Prep the ingredients. Cook the quinoa. Chop the walnuts and place in a 350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fragrant and toasty.

Chop the cranberries, grate the carrots and thinly slice the scallions.

Take the kale leaves off the stems and pile one on top of the other. Chiffonade (thinly slice) the kale.

Place all ingredients into a big bowl and toss together with your favorite dressing. Enjoy!

Quinoa Roundup

Quinoa. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! There are so many ways to prepare this super star grain/protein. Start with quinoa. Add lots of vegetables, nuts and/or seeds, fresh herbs, and a great dressing. Present as a stand alone dish, a side dish, or a stuffing. Also great to add into salads and soups.

1. Quinoa Stuffed Avocados. The stuffing is quinoa, corn, peas, onions, toasted almonds and avocado dressing.

2. Quinoa Salad Topped with Avocado, Radishes & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Why add peas to this combination of ingredients? To quote my friend Sophie, “This goes great with that!”


3. Quinoa with Spring Garlic & Shallots. Plain and just beautiful.


4. Winter Quinoa Pilaf. Brussels sprouts and pistachios.

5. Colorful Quinoa Pilaf. Onions, carrots and zucchini.

6. Quinoa with Corn, Black Beans & Avocado Dressing. A great dish on taco night.

7. Broccoli Salad with Quinoa, Scallions & Roasted Cashews. A flavorful way to serve broccoli.


8. Quinoa with Roasted Cauliflower, Toasted Pine Nuts Dressed with Balsamic Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette. It’s all about the dressing!


9. Red-Yellow-Green Quinoa Salad. Red pepper. Yellow corn. Green chives. Colorful!

10. Greek Inspired Quinoa Salad. Cucumber, scallions and artichoke hearts.

11. Roasted Squash with Sunny Apple Quinoa Salad. With onions, carrots, leeks, apples and sunflower seeds.

12. Mint Quinoa Pilaf. Fresh mint and scallions.

13. Green, Corn & Summer. Just a simple presentation with quinoa as the centerpiece.


14. Croquettes. I love all of these little guys and many of the dishes on this roundup could be turned into a croquette.


 Quinoa Corn Croquettes


Quinoa-Chickpea-Leek Croquettes 

Sunny Millet Pilaf Croquettes *
* I know millet is not quinoa but I could have used quinoa in these croquettes.
Or millet could be used in place of quinoa in any of the dishes in this roundup.

15. Sweet Vanilla Quinoa. A totally different way to use quinoa.


Tricolor Quinoa Salad Topped with Avocado, Radishes & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


This salad is inspired by the Stuffed Avocado on the menu at Candle 79. In my version, I add cooked leeks and spring garlic to the zucchini and peas. The toasted pumpkin seeds and sliced radishes add something extra special but it’s the fresh lemon juice that makes it lunch perfection. Yum!

2 cups COOKED tricolor (or white) quinoa
1 leek
1 spring garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 cup frozen green peas
Sea salt, to taste

Toasted pumpkin seeds
Sliced radishes
Fresh lemon juice

To get about 2 cups of quinoa, cook 1 cup of uncooked quinoa. You might have some left over. Set aside when done or even better make it ahead of time.

Prep your mise en place. Dice the leek (and clean it well), the spring garlic, and the zucchini. Start by adding the leeks to the pan with a little water and when the leeks start to soften, add the garlic. Next, add the zucchini and a little water. Add the green peas and a little more water. Cook until bright. Season with a pinch of sea salt.

Mix the quinoa and the vegetables together.

Eat the quinoa salad just like this or top it with diced avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, sliced radishes, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top. Enjoy!

How to Make Homemade Quinoa Milk


I can’t believe I didn’t think of this myself. My friend Jill and I were in an amazing health food store last week on the west side and I spied Quinoa Milk. What a great idea! Of course, I had to make it myself. How hard could it be? How about easy. I used the same method as I do for my other homemade vegan milks.


Let’s talk finances for a minute. This is not exact but go with me…

The quinoa milk we saw was in New York City and cost $3.99. For 4 servings of a cup of milk, that is about a $1 per serving.

A 16oz bag of quinoa can range anywhere from $5.29 to $8.99 depending on the brand, the store, and whether it is organic or not. But there are about 2 1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa from a bag like this. One cup of uncooked quinoa yields about 2 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa. So that makes about 7 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa.

This is like a GMAT problem!

Now, depending on the price of the bag of uncooked quinoa, you are spending anywhere from $.70 to $1.20 per cup of cooked of cooked quinoa. If you use 1 cup of cooked quinoa to make quinoa milk according to my recipe and you yield about the same that comes in the carton so that is almost 75% off! Same math for nut milks too.

Not only that, but if you cook 1 cup of uncooked quinoa for the milk you will have quinoa ready for your next meal (like quinoa with spring garlic and shallots). You can even freeze it to make life really easy.

I know that some people will say, yes I see that it is cheaper, not to mention that it is pure and less wasteful, but I don’t have the time to cook the quinoa (which takes almost no effort) and then throw it into the blender (which also takes about no effort). Really?


Onto the recipe. The thing about quinoa is that even rinsed, it can be on the bitter side. That is because quinoa is actually a seed – like hemp or sunflower – and Mother Nature, in all of her brilliance, coated the quinoa seeds in saponin to discourage birds from eating it. Always rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before cooking.

Quinoa milk tastes, you guessed it, like liquid quinoa. Today I went with a sweet vanilla flavor because my son and I made cookie bars which are essentially my chocolate chip cookies baked in a dish for about 45 minutes instead of round cookies. Hello, much easier and I wanted to dip the cookies into a sweet milk. But, that is optional. In fact, make it without the vanilla and dates, taste it and add them later if you desire. Either way let the Vitamix or blender go for a long time and you won’t have to strain it.

1 cup cooked quinoa
3 cups filtered water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
3 pitted dates, optional

Place the ingredients into the Vitamix or blender. Blend until completely white and as liquid as possible.

Pour into a glass pitcher and store in the refrigerator. Shake well before serving. Enjoy!


Winter Quinoa Pilaf: Butternut Squash, Toasted Walnuts & Cranberries


Look at those gorgeous colors! This would have been great at a Thanksgiving table but since I just thought of it, so I will bring it Christmas dinner instead. And make it a few times in between. This is a really easy dish to make. Make a big batch of quinoa and prep a big butternut squash. Then this will come together instantly.

The dressing can be used on so many different salads. Note that I use stoneground mustard. I find it is the perfect compliment to the maple syrup. Dijon is too strong for me here and pretty much anywhere now.


serves 3 to 4

1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup cooked butternut squash
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cranberries
Fresh parsley, handful

2 tablespoons stoneground mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Cook the quinoa and butternut squash.

Toast the walnuts in a 350 oven for 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk the mustard and maple syrup together in a small bowl.

Chop the parsley, walnuts and cranberries.

Place everything in a big bowl and toss with the maple mustard dressing. Enjoy!