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Kale and Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

This Kale and Quinoa Salad showcases two nutritional powerhouse ingredients! With a tangy lemon dressing and crunchy pumpkin seeds, it makes a great main course salad on a hot summer day, or a side dish for a barbeque or potluck party.

Kale and quinoa salad in bowl with wooden salad servers

Massage your kale!

Massage the kale with your hands to break down the fiber, making it more pleasant to eat. The massage also gives the kale a brighter emerald color and helps the kale absorb the oil and lemon juice dressing.

You can use regular quinoa or tri-color rainbow quinoa.

You might also want to try this Outstanding Kale Salad with Sunflower Seed Pesto and Apricots.

Mind your Ks and Qs with kale and quinoa salad!

Make  it a wonderful week–get in the kitchen and make yourself a healthy salad!

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Kale and Quinoa Salad
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Kale and Quinoa Salad

This healthy salad can be varied in myriad ways using vegetables and grains of your choice. Makes 8 to 10 servings, depending on what you put in your salad.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: kale, quinoa
Servings: 8 servings.
Calories: 231kcal


  • 1 cup tri-color or regular quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice , or rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch curly kale , washed
  • 4 each green onions , chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds


  • Rinse the quinoa. In a saucepan, bring the water and ½ teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Let stand and allow to cool 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • Make a dressing with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, remaining salt and cayenne. Set aside.
  • Strip and discard the stems from the kale—them chop into ¼-inch by 1-inch strips. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the kale and massage theleaves with your hands, until the leaves are darker and have reduced in volumeby about one-third.
  • Add the cooled quinoa to the bowl. Add the green onions, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds. 
  • Pour the vinaigrette on top and toss everything together. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. This salad keepswell, chilled, for several days.


  • Vary this salad according to what you have on hand. Start with 2 cups of any cooked grain. Add your personal mix of crunchy and leafy vegetables, including a flavorful allium, like garlic scapes, green onions, or chopped chives. Dress with a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.
  • To wilt your kale, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. If you don’t want to use a microwave, blanch the kale in boiling water, then shock it in ice water to keep the bright green color.


Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1791IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Spinach Frittata

Farm fresh eggs–tiny perfection. There is just no equivalent to eggs from chickens that gallivant freely and happily. Fresh farm eggs make a delicious spinach frittata!

Spinach Frittata inspiring eggs

Tiny Perfection–Ranui Farm Eggs

Truthfully, frittatas are wonderful and easy no matter where the eggs come from. Especially when the recipe includes spinach, or chard, or arugula, or beet greens or a mix of all of these. A little cheese is nice to round things out–use whatever cheese you have on hand. This spinach frittata has both diced fresh mozzarella and Kerrygold cheddar, which turn nice and golden brown finished under the broiler. Fresh thyme is the perfect herbal addition to a spinach frittata.

Serve your frittata warm, right from the broiler. Frittatas are also delicious chilled, served with a salad.

spinach frittata

Spinach Frittata

You might also enjoy this chard frittata recipe.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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spinach frittata
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spinach Frittata


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach , chard or arugula, or a mixture any of these
  • Real Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 farm eggs
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese


  • Heat half of the oil in a 9 or 10-inch skillet on medium low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring every so often, until the onions are soft and very translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, remove and discard the stems from the spinach and chop it coarsely. When the onions are ready, stir in the spinach, adding one third at a time, and stirring the spinach until it wilts to make room for more spinach. When all of the spinach has wilted and practically disappeared, season generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the garlic, the wilted spinach, the thyme and the cup of cheese.
  • Wipe the skillet with a paper towel to clean out any spinach/onion residue. Heat to medium flame, adding the other half of oil. Pour in the egg and spinach mixture. Set the timer for 10 minutes. You don’t have to stir the eggs, just let them cook until they set.
  • Preheat the broiler. After 10 minutes the eggs should be cooked with a bit of liquid on the top. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over those moist top eggs and slide the skillet under the broiler, about 6 inches from the flame. Cook until the cheese is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Cut into wedges to serve.

Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

This polenta tart with green garlic and spinach has a gluten-free polenta crust. It’s filled with a light ricotta egg and spinach custard. The season for green garlic coincides with chives, so if you have them, sprinkle the baked tart with purple chive blossoms.

green garlic for Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

Trimmed Green Garlic

This polenta tart recipe uses my microwave polenta technique. The “crust” is gluten-free and lower in calories than a butter tart crust. And polenta perfectly complements the filling in an Italian sort of way.

Unless you are more adverse to the nuclear machines than I, or your kitchen is not so equipped, you will enjoy the ease of polenta cooking in a microwave oven.

polenta tart crust for Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

Chives and purple blossoms for Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

Chive sand their blossoms

One of the surprises in our farm share box this week is green garlic. I wonder if John planted a row of garlic specifically for a green garlic harvest or if he is thinning the crop to allow more space for bulb development of what’s left in the rows.

Green garlic looks a lot like green onions or scallions, and can be prepared in pretty much the same way.

Wash green garlic well, as you would leeks, for dirty soil can hide in the stalks. Trim green garlic as dictated by its relative youth, or how close it was to becoming fully formed garlic. If the green part is very tender, chop the entire stalk, otherwise trim away some of the green as you might for scallions.

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Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something spicy!

For more vegetarian recipe ideas, peruse my Pinterest boards.

Find daily vegetarian and healthy living ideas on my Facebook page.

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Polenta Tart with Green garlic for Green Garlic and Spinach
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

This gluten free crust makes a fabulous crust for most any savory tart. Makes one tart. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges for main course or 10 to 12 as an appetizer.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Servings: 1 9-inch tart


For the polenta:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • ½ cup polenta grits
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

For the filling:

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach , about 8 ounces, well washed, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup up to 1 cup chopped green garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chive petals
  • Tomato sauce , optional


Make the polenta:

  • Whisk the vegetable broth, water, olive oil, salt, and polenta and in a microwave-proof bowl. Cover and cook on highest power for five minutes. Stir well, cover again and cook for another five minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, cover and cook for two more minutes.
  • Allow the polenta to cool a minute or so, then dollop into the lightly oiled pan of choice. While the polenta is still soft and warm, spread it around the bottom and sides of the pan with your fingers, wetting them if needed. Distribute the polenta as evenly as possible, but it can look rustic, since this is a rustic tart.

Make the filling and bake the tart:

  • Heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet and sauté the green garlic until it is limp. Stir in the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach has completely wilted. Sprinkle with a dash of balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Beat the egg and ricotta cheese in a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the cooked garlic and spinach, thyme and chives, reserving the purple thyme blossom for garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture into the polenta crust.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until there are hints of golden brown in the crust and the ricotta filling. Sprinkle with the purple chive flowers and allow to cool slightly before cutting.
  • Serve on plates with tomato sauce, if desired.

Sweet Swiss Chard Tart with a Cookie Crust – Tarte aux Blettes

I think most people would see “Swiss Chard Tart” on a dessert menu and pass it over for the rich gluten free  Chocolate Snowball. That’s why the menu included both Sweet Swiss Chard Tart with a Cookie Crust and the French title Tarte aux Blettes. This sweet Swiss chard tart with a cookie crust is one special dessert.

Sweet Swiss Chard Tart with a Cookie Crust | Letty's Kitchen

In Nice, in France, when I was in culinary school way back in 1986, for professional curiosity I ordered Tarte aux Blettes. What a treat–eating your greens for dessert.
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Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Potatoes and Cheese

When we visited Felipe and Diana’s home in San Miguel de Allende Mexico, we made poblano chiles stuffed with potatoes and cheese for dinner. Here’s the recipe and why I love traditional open air Mexican markets!

Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Potatoes and Cheese

Qué le doy—what can I get you? They call out to you as you pass by their stalls brimming with fruits and vegetables, and flowers, every variety of meats and fish, and much much more.

Damn I love Mexican mercados. Pirate CD puestos a half kilometer down the passageway blare out ranchera and rock, competing for your ears against the musician with guitar two stalls away serenading birthday wishes, Las Mananitas, to the girl selling leather belts and shoes. The colors, the music, the food!

señora in Mexican mercado--Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Potatoes and Cheese | Letty's Kitchen

So rich and abundant, so full of optimism, with smells easily and not so easily identified.  You can have your high-price supermarket’s sterile packaging just like any city in the world–for the life’s bright vibrancy, give me a Mexican mercado any day. Full crescendo open air Mexican mercados are feasts for the eyes, ears, and palate.

You’ll see handsome señoras wrapped in traditional shawls selling homegrown fruit like avocados and limes, or old cowboys selling even older tools they’ve arranged on blankets on the ground.

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