Hearty Kale and Quinoa Salad

hearty kale quinoa saladYield: 4 servings

1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup dried unsweetened cranberries (can substitute dried cherries)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (can substitute walnuts)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 scallion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
1 medium shallot or a small red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch kale, stalk removed and thinly sliced
¼ cup crumbled goat or feta cheese (optional)

1. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa under running water until eater runs clear.
2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, dry roast rinsed quinoa for 5 minutes stirring constantly or until most of the water has evaporated and you begin to smell a nutty aroma. Add water and salt.
3. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to low and cover, cooking for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat, add cranberries, keep covered and let stand for 5 minutes
4. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and mix in 1 tablespoon of oil and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread pine nuts in a single layer and toast in oven for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.
6. In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, heat remaining oil and sauté the shallot or onion for 2-3 minutes, until soft.
7. Place thinly sliced kale in a bowl of water.
8. Lift kale out of water and add to the pan, cover with lid and cook for about 5 minutes or until wilted.
9. Add the cooked kale to the quinoa mixture along with the nuts. Add crumbled goat or feta cheese, if desired. Toss and serve immediately.

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