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Kale and Quinoa Salad with Crunchy Flavorful Veggies

Mind your Ks and Qs–two nutritional powerhouse ingredients! This Kale and Quinoa Salad showcases them both.

Kale and Quinoa Salad

Kale and Quinoa Salad

Please treat this recipe as a template to easily create your own unique salad with different grains and vegetables.

This particular combination of kale and quinoa takes advantage of our CSA farm share goodies by incorporating as many veggies as possible in one bowl of salad.


For example, start with about 2 cups of any cooked grain. Stir in your personal mix of crunchy and leafy vegetables. Add a flavorful allium, like garlic scapes, green onions, or chopped chives. Dress with a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing. Wah-lah!

For crunch and protein, toss in toasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or glamorous pine nuts.

Today’s salad features tri-color quinoa, the Q, and kale, the K. The K is wilted for brighter emerald color and to help the kale absorb the oil and vinegar dressing. You could also massage your kale, like in this Outstanding Kale Salad with Sunflower Seed Pesto and Apricots. Same, same, but different.

Mind your Ks and Qs with kale and quinoa salad, and have fun coming up with your own variations of greens and grains.

Make  it a wonderful week–get in the kitchen and cook some healthy greens!

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**If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe.

Kale and Quinoa Salad
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Kale and Quinoa Salad

The veggies in this healthy salad are what I had on hand. The salad can varied in myriad ways using vegetables and grains of your choice. Makes 8 to 10 servings, depending on what you put in your salad. A wonderful and welcome potluck salad.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 8 servings.


  • 1 cup tri-color or regular quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar , or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch curly kale , washed
  • Garlic scapes , optional
  • Green shallots , optional
  • 1 cup chopped pea shoots , optional
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • Radishes or jicama or water chestnuts, cut in ½-inch dice


  • Rinse the quinoa well with hot water to remove the bitter saponin coating. Strain in a wire strainer. (Update: I learned recently that the quinoa readily available in packages or bulk bins has already been rinsed to remove the saponin. I rinse anyway, for good luck.
  • 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. (As for rice, do not stir, but check every so often by tilting the pan to the side to see if there is any water left to absorb.)
  • When the quinoa is tender and the water is gone, let stand, covered, and allow to cool.
  • Make a dressing with the olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, remaining salt and cayenne. Set aside.
  • Strip and discard the stems from the kale—them chop into ¼-inch by 1-inch strips. (If you wish, microwave for about 30 seconds to wilt the leaves.)
  • Toss the garlic scapes, if using, with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook them on a grill and chop them, or chop them and sauté in a pan until tender.
  • Chop the green shallots, if using, and sauté with a bit of oil as well. Put these in a large bowl.
  • Add the kale to the bowl, along with the optional pea shoots, cilantro and radishes. (If your refrigerator offers other interesting vegetables, add them as well.)
  • Dump the cooled quinoa on top of the veggies and pour the vinaigrette over. Toss everything well. Season to taste with more salt and cayenne.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. If you are adding nuts or seeds, toss them into the salad just before serving.


  • 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.

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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PS If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe.

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.

Red Lentils and Garlic Scapes

Classic Indian spices, turmeric, cumin and coriander, flavor this dish of red lentils and garlic scapes, with the scapes adding garlicky crunch, olive green color and the scent of spring.

Garlic Scapes

trimmed and ready for chopping

Today I came across a package of Garlic Scapes in the produce section at Whole Foods. They were on sale: 2 for $6.00. Someone is laughing all the way to the bank and I bet it s not the farmer.

Garlic Scapes packaged

expensive scapes

Lucky for my kitchen, curlicued garlic scapes show up in our weekly Ranui Gardens CSA box this time of year. They’re mellower than mature garlic cloves, and certainly different than their aromatic offspring. Continue Reading…

Green Garlic, Spinach and Tortilla Soup

A milestone birthday came my way last month, and to celebrate we threw a party–with house made margaritas. I can easily say no thanks to a margarita made with bottled mix, but if the recipe is pure tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice, that’s another story. And not just any lime juice, it must be key lime juice, or jugo de limones, from the smaller, sweeter limes of Florida and Mexico.

Limones and Serrano chiles

Continue Reading…

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.

Follow me on Instagram! It’s my favorite!

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.