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Sautéed Kale, Quinoa, Avocado, and Shrimp Salad

Samantha Serpe

Now, this may be one of the most requested and popular dishes I have ever made. It features my famous sautéed garlic, lemony kale (which on its own is a delicious side dish). I've been asked for a while now to share the recipe, but it has taken me a couple years to finally become selfless and share it. You may be thinking that I'm tooting my own horn a little too much right now, but trust me, once you try this salad it's going to become on of your favorites as well!

This delicious combo of the kale, quinoa, avocado, and shrimp is a hearty, but healthy choice for lunch or dinner. Over the past few years, kale has become one of the trendiest and most popular leafy greens and for good reason! Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on this earth. A single cup of raw kale contains more than 10 vitamins and minerals, including extremely high contents of vitamins A, C, and K. Kale is considered to be one of the best sources of vitamin K; a nutrient that is super important for our blood. It regulates normal blood clotting by "activating" proteins and giving them the ability to bind calcium. Therefore, it helps our bodies respond to injuries as well as maintain bone health.

Vitamin K is not the only nutrient in kale that helps support bone health. Kale is also a great plant-based source of calcium. We all know calcium is great for our bones, but it is also a key player in many other cellular functions. This makes kale a great option for those who do not consume any dairy. 

Surprisingly kale is a great source of antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Beta-carotene is important because your body can turn it into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for good vision and reproduction and it also plays a role in cell growth. Kale is also a great source of the antioxidant vitamin C, which we know has so many important roles in our bodies. We all know how vitamin C is crucial for our immune system, but did you know it is necessary for synthesizing collagen? 

Now that we know why this salad is so good for us, let's get to the good stuff...the recipe! As mentioned, the sautéed kale is a fabulous side dish for any dinner, so don't be afraid to try it out by itself some time. I love to use shrimp, but it can totally be substituted with boneless chicken breast. Also, don't be alarmed by how much kale it calls for because it cooks down quite a bit. 

Hope you enjoy my signature recipe! Love, Samantha.

Servings: 4

Ingredients: 

10-12 cups of chopped kale

1 Tbs. chopped garlic

2 Tbs. grapeseed oil

3 Tbs. nutritional yeast 

1-2 lemons (depending on your lemon preference) 

2 cups cooked quinoa 

2 avocados, cubed

1 lb. of wild caught shrimp, peeled and deveined  

1/4 cup Bragg Vinaigrette

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  1. Heat Bragg Vinaigrette is a medium skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble. Add the shrimp and cook for 5-7 minutes until it turns pink. You can always add more of the vinaigrette if needed, you want the shrimp to be completely covered. Once done, turn off heat and cover. 
  2. In a large skillet heat the grapeseed oil and garlic over medium heat. Once the garlic starts to pop, add in the kale.
  3. Sauté kale until it turns a bright green and starts to cook down. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue sautéing until kale becomes very tender and starts to wilt, constantly tossing.
  4. Turn heat down to low and mix in the juice of 1-2 lemons. Then add nutritional yeast and make sure it is well mixed in with the kale. 
  5. In a large serving bowl, add kale and quinoa. Mix until they are well incorporated.
  6. Add avocado to the kale and quinoa and gently toss. Top with cooked shrimp and enjoy!