I’ve always said that I could eat soup year-round, but this summer, eating anything warmer than body temperature makes me want to rip off all my clothes–not in a sexy way but in a “flames are about to start shooting out of my eyeballs” way. You women over 50 know what I mean. So there are big gaps in my weekly menus that used to be filled with soup.
The great thing about a good bean and vegetable soup is that it’s pretty much a one-pot meal, so I’ve been experimenting with salads that have the same ease and simplicity. This salad is one of my attempts to have it all–beans, grains (or seeds, in the case of quinoa), and vegetables–in one big bowl. It’s similar to my International Quinoa Salad, except that with 4 to 6 cups of raw kale, it has a much higher amount of vegetables. Massaging the dressing into the kale tenderizes it, but if you’re not a fan of raw kale, you can steam it for a few minutes to make it even more tender. It’s one of those dishes that improves with age, so if you have the time, make it a day ahead and enjoy its blend of lemon, cumin, and chile flavors even more. And keep your clothes on.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed very well (I used a combo of red and white quinoa)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or other pure chile powder, not a blend)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste (optional)
- 4 – 6 cups chopped kale leaves (about 4-5 ounces)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced or cubed (optional)
- additional lemon juice and seasonings, to taste
- Heat a saucepan. Add the rinsed and drained quinoa and the garlic and toast it until almost dry. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing in a small bowl or measuring cup: whisk together the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons broth, chia/flax seeds, chile powders, cumin, and salt. Allow to stand until the chia seeds start to thicken the dressing.
- Place the kale in a large serving bowl. Add half of the dressing and massage it into the kale using a wringing motion until the kale is very tender. Two minutes of massaging should do it, but the longer, the better. Add the quinoa, black beans, carrot, and bell pepper, along with the remaining dressing. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, check the seasoning and add more lemon juice, chile powder, cumin, and salt, as needed. Stir in chopped avocado, if desired, or serve with slices of avocado on the side.