Summer Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad

Kale and Quinoa Salad

You’re probably wondering where I have been all of these months, and rightfully so.   On a personal note, my dad had open heart surgery in November and everything went well.  Then in February, he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.  He was a candidate for mass removal surgery had  the surgery, which was successful.  After he was discharged he had complicationshe passed away. It is true what they say,  “You have no idea how someone feels after a loss until you go through it yourself.”

To say it’s been incredibly hard is an understatement, but I do my best every day to try and find myself again.  Before he was diagnosed, I signed up for a 5K race to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer Research.  If you would like to donate, you can go to my personal page.  100% of the donations go to research, and I know my dad will be with me every step of the day.

That being said, cooking for me has been very hard to get back into.  Some of my fondest memories cooking are with my parents, so cooking without my dad here feels like cheating in a way….feels like I’m doing OK without him, when I’m not and not sure when I will be.  One of the most recent memories cooking with him was when we each cooked a chicken dish and compared who’s would be better.  He went with Mayonnaise Chicken and I went with Honey Mustard Chicken.  While cooking, he and I would poke each other and move each others utensils and called it “Cut Throat Kitchen”.  I just remember laughing so hard and having so much fun with him…and he won of course!

Since being home, tonight was the first night cooking by myself and, like always, I wanted to make something healthy, since my husband rarely likes anything green.   I found a similar recipe online and tweaked it to make it my own and it was absolutely delicious.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Although not a recipe my dad would like, I know he’d be proud of me for blogging and cooking again.

Cheers to you dad!


Serves 2-4


For the Salad:

1 cup quinoa, uncooked (after it’s cooked, you’ll use about half)

2 cups water or chicken broth

3 cups chopped kale

1/4- 1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4-1/2 banana peppers (either hot or mild)

1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn (optional:  I leave out…serves no nutritional value and my tummy doesn’t like it)

Sriracha Powder


For the Dressing:

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup lime juice (or about 2 fresh limes)

1/4 cup Sriracha

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped finely

Pinch of Cilantro

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (depends on how much heat you like)

Sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium sized pot, combine 2 cups of water or chicken broth with 1 cup of quinoa and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and set aside
  2. While the quinoa cooks, add kale, onion, banana peppers, and black beans (and corn, if desired) to a large salad bowl
  3. Once the quinoa is finished, add to the salad bowl and toss
  4. Prepare the dressing by adding all of the ingredients to a separate bowl.  Please Note:  I doubled the dressing, since I love dressings, so add however much dressing to your salad that you like.  I had some leftover and put in the fridge for a later time.
  5. Once finished, add to the salad and finish with Sriracha Powder for an extra kick and enjoy!



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