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Quinoa and Baby Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic Lime Dressing

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Since it’s been so warm lately, I wanted salad and a tangy vinaigrette. But, there are rules. This salad would have to be portable enough to take to lunch, not too fussy to assemble, and not get soggy. Kale is a good option since it’s hearty enough to be dressed ahead of time without turning into a wilted mess by lunchtime. Quinoa gives some heft, the roasted carrots lend a subtle sweetness, and the radish is nicely crisp. Toss with the roasted garlic lime vinaigrette and you’ve got a healthy lunch. It’s even better with some crusty bread slathered in salted butter and a glass of crisp white wine.

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If you’ve got some roasted vegetables leftover from last night’s dinner, this is the salad for you. Half of the work is done. I happened to have roasted carrots on hand so into the salad they went.  Almost any roasted vegetable could be substituted or added to this versatile salad.

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Quinoa and Baby Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

Yield: 2 servings

1 cup cooked quinoa*

6 carrots, roasted

6 radishes, sliced thin or if very small, cut in half

Baby kale, 3 handfuls

4 tablespoons roasted garlic lime vinaigrette

Roasted Garlic Lime Vinaigrette:

6-8 cloves roasted garlic

Juice of 1 lime plus zest

1 cup good quality olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except lime zest in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a jar or container and add the zest.

Assemble the Salad:

In a large mixing bowl, add the quinoa, kale, and vinaigrette. Toss to combine, then add the carrots and radish, toss lightly. Portion between two salad bowls. Enjoy!

*cook quinoa according to directions on the package. I use a rice cooker and a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. Make sure to rinse the quinoa in cold water to get rid of bitterness before cooking. To the quinoa and water, I also add a dash of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt to ensure the quinoa is easily fluffed and seasoned.

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