This year my Christmas is going to be just a leeetle bit different.
You see I come from a large Italian family and Christmas is by far our biggest, and most celebrated holiday. We drink a lot, eat even more, open presents and get really loud. Itâs tradition.
My mom grew up just south of Philadelphia and my whole family still lives there, so for as long as I can remember we have made the trek all the way from VT down there to spend Christmas as a family. Itâs around an 8 hour drive and I can only imagine what it was like for my parents with two little kids and a car full of presents.
But as weâve gotten older, weâve had less and less need for STUFF. Like I understand that Christmas is about giving and presents is part of the tradition, but Iâm at the point in my life where a) I donât really need anything else, b) the stuff I do want is usually business related (photography equipment, etc.) and Iâm better off buying it myself for tax reasons, and c) when I want something and have thought about it for a long time, I usually just end up buying it.
So the idea of just accumulating more stuff just because itâs Christmas seems kind of sillyâ¦and my family agrees.
So what are we doing instead? WEâRE GOING ON VACATION!
Thatâs right, me, my brother, Matt, my brotherâs gf Samantha and my parents are all packing our bags and heading for the tropics!
In lieu of gifts, weâre going to be spending 12 days on the island of St. Lucia â we rented a villa up in the mountains and plan to do lots of hiking, swimming, beaching and relaxing.Â Iâm not going to lie, itâs going to be a bit strange celebrating Christmas with palm trees and no presents (and no big Italian feast), but I know weâre just going to love it.
I honestly donât think my family has taken a trip togetherÂ like thisÂ since I was in high schoolâ¦.which was a looooong time ago. So this is going to be quite a treat!
Which brings to me to salad. Particularly, this shredded brussels sprout quinoa salad which is loaded with nutritious ingredients like kale, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, lemon, apple cider vinegar and honey. Itâs tangy, sweet, crunchy, filling and perfect for the holidays!
These past few weeks leading up to our trip, Iâve really been making an effort to fill up on fruits and veggies so that I feel confident in my bathing suit (even though Iâm going to be with my family and have nothing to be self-conscious of, it still helps you feel good about yourself). So Iâve been whipping up big salads like this for both my lunches and dinners because when youÂ have a salad like this, you donât really need anything else!
Itâs filling, itâs nourishing, itâs detoxifying and itâs delicious!
If we were at home and doing our normal Christmas, I would totally bring thisÂ salad to enjoy on the side. Plus, it never hurts to sneak in some veggies to a meal that is focused around raviolis! My family can always do with a little more greens.
So whether youâre looking for a dish you can serve at Christmas or just want something healthy and detoxifying during this crazy time of year, youâre going to adore this salad. And make it soon because pomegranates arenât in season too long and we need to enjoy them as much as possible while we can!
Kale + Shredded Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
- 2 cups finely chopped kale (any variety; I used lacinato)
- 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Using a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife, shred the brussels sprouts. Place them in a large bowl and add the kale. Set aside.
- Add quinoa and walnuts to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast for 8 - 12 minutes until the quinoa is crispy and the walnuts are golden brown, stirring around every few minutes so they don't burn. (I found that covering the skillet helped)
- While the quinoa and walnuts are toasting, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Once the quinoa and walnuts have cooled slightly, add them, along with the pomegranate seeds, to the bowl with the vegetables and toss to combine. Add dressing and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately or allow to sit in fridge for no more than 1 hour.*
I don't recommend making this salad too far ahead of time. I left mine overnight and the brussels sprouts started to smell pretty funky.
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