Kale and Quinoa Salad with Grilled Steak



Photo by Weston Carls

This grilled steak and raw kale and red quinoa salad makes the perfect Valentine’s Day meal for two—or multiply the recipe to healthily satisfy a hungry Super Bowl crowd! 

This vibrant and healthy salad is delicious year round. It has the nutrients you need to eat on its own, but still pairs very well with any number of meats. One of the tricks to this salad is to incorporate ice-cold red grapes to give a refreshing surprise that makes you want to come back for another bite. It’s super approachable and a great platform for learning to create a satisfying meal when attempting to eat healthy.  

Some key components of healthfulness include dressing that is low in fat by incorporating garbanzo beans (think a hummus vinaigrette) in lieu of dairy, and almost all of the ingredients are raw. The icy cold grapes are so satisfying they make every other bite an intermezzo to the next forkful.

Lastly, get every bit of this you can here in Austin. It’s really simple and a great way to eat healthfully. Kale, carrots, dill, onions, and extra virgin olive oil are so abundant in central Texas that you’d be missing out to not make a day of this at a farmers market or one of our many urban farms. This salad is nutrient dense, and at least 90 percent of this meal could support your local growers and community.


Serves 2

5 ounces Kale. Get what’s growing. I like Curly for the nooks and crannies.

1 each Small Sweet Carrot, shaved with a peeler. (Red looks great).

24 each Seedless Red Grapes, cut in half and chilled very cold, almost frozen

1 sprig Fresh Dill, picked

2 ounces  Red Onion, fine julienne    

1/2 cup Red Quinoa, simply cooked in salted water

1/3 cup Chickpea Dressing (recipe to follow)            

to taste Flake Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

10 oz 44 Farms Sirloin or Flank

1 oz Texas Extra Virgin Olive Oil

to taste Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper       

For the assembly:

After stemming, washing and drying your Kale, tear into bite size pieces and place in a   large bowl.  Pour Chickpea Dressing over Kale and massage the dressing into the Kale for about 20 seconds.  This step helps to fully season the Kale and to break down it’s fibrous texture.  Next, toss in all other ingredients and season to taste.  You won’t need much salt because your dressing is full seasoned.  Divide salad between four plates and enjoy.  Remember, some of the garnishing vegetables will fall to the bottom of the bowl, so make sure your guests all get some!

For the Chickpea Dressing:

1 cup Canned Chickpeas, washed and drained

1 tablespoon Tahini

1/2 tablespoon Shallot, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon Garlic, coarsely chopped

1 pinch Garlic Powder

1/2 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1 pinch Kosher Salt

1 pinch Black Pepper, freshly coarsely ground

7 ounces Texas EVOO


In a food processor, add all ingredients besides the oil.  Pulse until fully incorporated.  In a steady thin stream, pour oil in until emulsified.  This will yield about a quart.  It’s more than you will need for the salad, but it holds very will in the refrigerator for up to a week.  It also freezes very well for a month tightly sealed.  You will need to mix it again very quickly in a food processor to bring the texture back.         


For the Steak:

2 each 5 oz Texas Steaks    

2 oz Texas EVOO

1 pinch Kosher Salt

1 pinch Black Pepper, freshly and coarsely ground.

Remember, fire is a living thing, so understanding your grill is paramount to this style of healthy cooking…


Grilling instructions:

Heat your grill to medium-high heat, and let the fire die off until the coals are glowing orange.  

When using lean meats like Flank or Sirloin, your steak is most likely not going to be more than an inch thick, with flank being thinner than sirloin.  

Brush your steaks with enough oil to cover but not so much the oil drips off. This will create flare ups from the coals and make your steak sooty. Season to your liking with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  

Grill over medium-high heat for roughly two to three minutes per side/per inch for medium rare. If you get flare ups, move your steaks to a slightly less fiery part of the grill.

Once your steaks are done your your liking, turn off the grill and let them rest for three to five minutes. This is crucial to the cooking of protein, especially over high heat and with a lean cut of meat.  

Slice thinly, about a ½ inch per slice, and place one steak on each salad. Don’t be afraid the scrape you’re the juices from the cutting board back onto your salad.  

 

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