Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Grapes

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Picture this. It was mid-last week and dinnertime loomed. The weather was unseasonably chilly. I was cooking for one that night and feeling a bit lazy.

Sometimes, I cop out of dinner entirely and just have a bowl of leftover soup or whip up a simple breakfast-for-dinner oatmeal dish. I've even been known to make pancakes for dinner when I'm on my own.

For whatever reason, I didn't feel like giving in to the laziness entirely. I also didn't feel like going all-out and making an elaborate dinner, so I compromised. Using some leftover quinoa from my fridge, I whipped up a sweet and satisfying warm salad from ingredients that you probably already have on hand. It may have been some of my laziest kitchen work yet, but I managed to create a keeper. I think you'll like it.

Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Grapes
Yield: 2 servings

2 cups cooked quinoa, any variety
1 cup red seedless grapes
3 Tbsp chopped raw almonds 
4-5 kale leaves, destemmed and sliced thinly 
1/2 sweet apple (Gala, Fuji, Braeburn), chopped roughly
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
pinch each of salt and pepper

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside or use leftover precooked quinoa. 
  2. Heat a medium frying pan to medium-high heat. Add grapes and almonds, stirring occasionally until grapes begin to swell and almonds are toasted. 
  3. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to smash about half the grapes. 
  4. Add kale leaves and cook 2-3 minutes until just wilted. 
  5. While kale is cooking, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, agave, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. 
  6. When kale is slightly wilted, add apple and cooked quinoa to frying pan and stir to combine. 
  7. Add dressing and stir just to coat all ingredients. Serve immediately, topped with additional toasted almonds if desired. 

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