Lemon Quinoa & Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

This recipe was created by Lindsey Hanna, a local Bozeman food blogger.

I've been really into kale salad lately and was excited she shared this recipe with me. It's perfect for springtime, great to serve for a crowd, and hearty enough for a meal on its own. Lindsey also included some great meal prep tips to quickly whip this up for meals throughout the week. Lindsey is a software engineer by day and foodie and recipe developer by night. Be sure to check out her blog, Baking Bytes for more recipes. Enjoy!

Guest Post and Recipe by Lindsey Hanna

Lemon Quinoa & Kale Salad {{Baking Bytes}}.png

Hi, I’m Lindsey! I’m a software engineer with a baking problem. When I’m not enjoying the great outdoors of Montana or traveling to a new half marathon, I am probably playing in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy this springtime salad and be sure to check out my other recipes on www.BakingBytes.com.

This recipe is nominally inspired by The Cafe in Ames, Iowa (a rare healthy gem in a sea of deep-fried abominations) as well as my love all of things lemon.

The crunchy zucchini, lemony quinoa, and crisp kale complement each other perfectly. Tossed with a lemon tahini dressing, dried cranberries, and goat cheese, the whole experience is light, springy and excellent both warmed or chilled. Add your protein of choice (I like baked halibut, but grilled chicken or white beans would also be delightful) and you have a filling entrée equally great for company as it is for meal prepping. This would be perfect for a Mother's Day lunch or Memorial Day cookout.

Each piece comes together fairly quickly, and can easily be made ahead of time for a quick weeknight dinner or packed lunch at work. Jumpstart your summer (whether the weather agrees or not) with a new go-to for your repertoire and give this tasty salad a try.

Lemon Quinoa & Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
1 ¾ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
1 large bunch kale, de-veined and chopped into 1” pieces
1 small zucchini, spiralized or julienned
½ - 1 cup goat cheese (or feta)
½ cup dried cranberries
Protein of choice, optional (halibut, chicken, smoked salmon, white beans, or chickpeas would all taste great)

Lemon Tahini Dressing Ingredients:

½ cup tahini
6 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup Garlic Olive Oil (or regular oil + 2 minced garlic cloves)
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp dried herbs (I used a mix of basil and rosemary)

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  1. Bring quinoa, lemon juice, and water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all water is absorbed. Let cool briefly before adding to the salad.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.
    Combine all dressing ingredients in a mason jar or small bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Thin to desired consistency with additional lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon at a time.

  3. Toss kale and zucchini with half of the dressing until evenly coated. Gently fold in quinoa.

  4. Divide between four dishes and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of goat cheese and 2 tablespoons dried cranberries.

  5. Add protein of choice.

  6. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve immediately.

This meal can be a great option to prep ahead and enjoy throughout the week.

To meal prep: Portion one serving of each item (quinoa, dressing, veggies, protein, and toppings) into separate containers  and store in the fridge until ready to eat. To assemble, gently heat the dressing until pourable (about 10 seconds) and toss with kale and zucchini. Reheat the quinoa (or serve chilled) and fold into kale mixture. Top with cranberries, goat cheese, protein, drizzle with additional dressing, and enjoy.

Lemon Quinoa & Kale Salad with Halibut {{Baking Bytes}}.png