Kale and Quinoa Salad – Cuisine del Sol Cookbook

This refreshing and delicious Kale and Quinoa Salad is a recipe from the CUISINE del Sol Cookbook supporting Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC)

Kale and Quinoa Salad | She Paused 4 Thought

I love it when a delicious dish coalesces with a great cause to create an Olympian outcome! This refreshing and delicious Kale and Quinoa Salad is just such a dish. It comes straight from the CUISINE del Sol Cookbook, the work of several area chefs who put their creative talents (and some fabulous recipes) together to help support Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC).

Having worked as a graphic artist on the Olympics in Albertville, France, Barcelona, Spain and Lillehammer, Norway, I know the talent and dedication it takes to be an Olympian athlete. From all of my years in the food business, I know what it takes to be a successful chef.  The opportunity to meet people from both of these worlds at Melissa’s Produce was an honor.

medal-winner | She Paused 4 Thought

Everyone involved in this effort is amazing. Here is Marco Martinez, a global messenger for the Special Olympics who has won more than 70 Special Olympic medals.

Below are a few of the special events team, whose dedication has its own Olympian stature. Together, these folks represent the dedication and energy of all the involved in this very special project.

Pier del Sol Group | Cuisine del Sol

Top: Special Events Team & athletes Bottom: Chef Peter Garland making his Quinoa and Kale Salad – Michelle Brien & Laurie Anne Marie, Pier del Sol staff members.

I left this event at Melissa’s Produce inspired to get involved. If you feel the same, here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. If you live in the LA area please come to the
    21st Annual Pier del Sol Event
    Date: Sun., Oct. 8th, 2017
    Location: Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park
    This event will be featuring an exclusive VIP brunch with tastings from over 35 of L.A.’s top Chefs and restaurants, entertainment, music, arts & crafts, games, and unlimited rides at Pacific Park.This year’s theme is “Oktoberfest,” which includes a beach top VIP Beer & Wine Garden. Learn more at: www.SOSC.ORG/PIERdelSOL
  2. Purchase CUISINE del Sol for $25. You’ll not only learn a few things about some amazing people, but you’ll eat well all year round!

All proceeds from this event benefit the athletes of Special Olympic Southern California.

Here are a few sample recipes from CUISINE del Sol.

Watermelon Radish Tacos by Chef Tom Fraker of Melissa’s Produce

Cuisine del Sol Cookbook | She Paused 4 Thought

Gazpacho Soup by Chef Philip Kastel of The Daily Grill

Cuisine del Sol Cookbook | She Paused 4 Thought

Organic Kale and Quinoa Salad by Chef/Owner Peter Garland of Porta Via Restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Cuisine del Sol Cookbook | She Paused 4 Thought

Fall Harvest Salad by Chef Tom Fraker of Melissa’s Produce

Cuisine del Sol Cookbook | She Paused 4 Thought

Truffle Honey Laced Fried Chicken by Chef David Le Fever of MB Post & Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach.

Today’s Recipe: Kale and Quinoa Salad

One of the things that make this kale and quinoa salad special is the deep-fried leeks on top. If you are new to deep frying and need a little help, click here for directions from a previous blog post.

Kale and Quinoa Salad | She Paused 4 Thought

I sliced my leeks crosswise to create rings instead of the suggested julienned because I think they are visually more interesting. This recipe has room for creative interpretation, so have some fun.

Kale and Quinoa Salad| She Paused 4 Thought

Another variation I choose was to use two varieties of kale, curly and flat.

No matter what variations you use, this recipe and cookbook are worthy of a medal.

Kale and Quinoa Salad | Cuisine del Sol Cookbook

Kale & Quinoa Salad - Cuisine del Sol Cookbook
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa [follow below steps)
  • 6 bunches kale, stems removed; julienned
  • 1 grilled red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup oven-roasted tomato, chopped
  • 1 fried leek, julienned; white part only
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup broccolini, blanched and chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Shaved parmigiano [garnish)
  • Pine nuts [garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare quinoa with water in rice cooker, or on stovetop as you would prepare rice.
  2. In a bowl, prepare dressing by whisking together dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, champagne vinegar, rice wine vinegar, and honey until thoroughly combined.
  3. Gradually whisk in extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. After quinoa is fully cooked, fold in broccolini, fresh lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Combine thoroughly with kale, tomato, leek, and onion.
  7. Toss in dressing or serve on the side.

The CUISINE del Sol cookbook is dedicated to all of the athletes of SOSC who demonstrate courage, joy, determination, and strength on a daily basis, on and off the playing field.

The recipes are dedicated to delicious eating.
…and then, she paused for thought


More event information: www.SOSC.ORG/PIERdelSOL

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of CUISINE del Sol to cook with. All opinions are my own.


9 thoughts on “Kale and Quinoa Salad – Cuisine del Sol Cookbook

  1. Christina | Christina's Cucina

    What a lovely event to be able to meet such inspiring people and eat such wonderfully delicious food! I’d like to dive into that bowl of gazpacho! WOW!

    Your salad looks lovely and I adore the leek rings; why did I never think of that!? Lovely!

    Sorry I missed this event!


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