Tag Archives: salt

How to Make Kale and Quinoa Salads – Fruit vs Greek

The Hard Hat Belles will show you how to prepare two delicious salads with Quinoa and Kale as base. Quinoa contains about 15% of protein and Kale is known for its detox properties. Combining these two turns them into the dream food for any vegetarian (and even if your not!). You are sure to enjoy these salads this summer!

Hi Y’All!

With summer coming on we decided it would be very refreshing to show you how to make some unique salads using kale and quinoa.  I have to say that KALE is my new go to salad leaf.  So, grab your drink and a seat and let’s make some salads.

Tea for two


When Wiebke and I started looking for a different type of salad to create for you – I had a very reluctant reaction to the thought of using the kale.  Why you ask?  Well, it all started a few years ago when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we were trying to do all things healthy.  We got a special juicer and did research on the best produce for the best juices.  Kale was at the top of the list.

Unbeknownst to us was that the stomach flu was making it’s vicious way through our family.

You guessed it!  The day we decided to start off with a very healthy  CLEANSING kale juice (and of course it had to be a large 20 oz), and the flu decided to collide.  Let’s just say it wasn’t very pretty around our house for about a week and everything reeked of kale….ugh.

So, when Wiebke found some kale and quinoa recipes and we discussed them – I was very hesitant.   But she was very interested to experiment with kale and combine it with quinoa.  I have to say these two salads really changed the way I think about kale and quinoa now.  Kale really is the new lettuce in my household and I am besotted with quinoa.  I am completely converted .  Still not sure I’d try another kale juice though. . .

Hail The Kale

Once we learned the magic of making kale more tender and beautiful to boot it was up hill from there.  You’ll have to read the recipes to discover the magic yourself.  To me, kale has a flavor  similar to fresh spinach, however, it is much milder.  The other bonus that I love – is that it lasts so much longer than ice berg, Romaine, or Leaf lettuce in your refrigerator.

I have had it on homemade pizza, tacos, nachos, sandwiches. . .  anything and anywhere I might use lettuce.  I am totally sold and we hope you will be too.

Why Kale?

The potential health benefits of kale are amazing and really worth the effort to investigate.  The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’s scientific article on . . . Green Vegetable Juices suggests that kale may even be beneficial in the role of preventing degenerative diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.  For additional  information and a different perspective on kale, check out the Kale: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks  article written by dietitian Megan Ware, RDN,LD.  Even if you are not looking for health benefits the evidence has shown that kale can help with weight loss as well.  I am anticipating my own weight loss eating more kale and drinking more water with our Motivational Water Jug! Let’s go get our KALE fix!

Quinoa – The Ancient Protein Wonder

Quinoa has been around for thousands of years and is gluten-free, packed with protein and according to the Ancient Harvest website a nutritional powerhouse.  To me it is a healthy alternative to calorie packed pasta and rice.  I like the nutty type flavor quinoa has and it adds a wonderful texture to salads.  I can’t wait to try it in place of pasta and rice in some of my recipes. To learn more watch the video below.

Take a tour of the Ancient Harvest website to get tons more information on quinoa – from the history on quinoa to recipes and where to buy it.  You can also hop on over to the  Authority Nutrition website to read an article – 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa (No. 1 is Best) May 2016, by Kris Gunnars, BSc (Bachelor’s degree in medicine).  He talks about 11 reasons why we should embrace quinoa into our diets from health benefits to losing weight.

Another good source of information is Jen’s Reviews post on quinoa.  You will find some more facts and delish recipes to try out.

To learn more about powerfoods that are easy to use with awesome benefits visit the cookingdetective.com and read their article on 23 Superfoods To Add To Your Diet For A Healthy Life.

Psst. . . I didn’t realize it until Wiebke showed me how, but quinoa is so easy to cook and much quicker than rice! Just look at the pictures below to tell when it is cooked.

Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the right, which means the quinoa is cooked.
Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the left which means the quinoa is cooked.

Kale & Quinoa Salads

Do you want to know how to get more kale and quinoa into your everyday meal menu?  We have a start for you!  It is with these two awesome salads!

Fruit-Nut Salad:Kale & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Kale, quinoa, apples, mandarins, dried cranberries, blueberries, honey, lime juice, olive oil

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lime juice, honey and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video).  **See magic note below.
  • Add cranberries, mandarins, apple, blueberries and almonds (or anything that suits your fancy).
  • Finally, add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.  Absolutely delish!

Greek Salad:Quinoa and Kale Greek Salad

Ingredients: 2 cups water,1 cup quinoa, 1 cup baby kale (or regular), stems removed, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered, ½ cup cucumber, diced, ¼ cup red onion, minced, 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon salt , ⅛ teaspoon pepper, feta cheese for topping

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lemon juice, and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video). **See magic note below.
  • Add chopped cucumbers, diced tomato, chopped parsley, sliced olives, diced red onion.
  • Add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.
  • Finally, top with crumbled Feta Cheese. And the Greek Quinoa Kale Salad is ready to enjoy!

**Magic Note: This is how the kale is transformed from a cabbage texture to a softer one.  When I am using kale in other recipes or with other food, such as sandwiches, I simply use a small portion of extra virgin olive oil and massage away.

Note: Disclaimer

And there you have it! Two delish kale and quinoa salads to chose from.  For more delish THHB recipes click here. Let us know which one you preferred in the comments below.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Proverbs 15:17

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke



Hi Y’all –

Before you watch that halrious video (above) on how to make Irish Soda Bread in a Crock Pot (Slow Cooker), grab a spot of tea and get comfy.

Tea for two

A year ago about this time my best friend Mary and I were planning a trip to Ireland (for a month!).  Neither of us had been overseas before and we were both apprehensive, excited and ready to go!

We stayed at a lovely beautiful stone cottage located in Brackwansha near Knockmore, County Mayo, Ireland.  If you look it up on a map it is between Ballina and Foxford to the west.  You could just about draw a line straight from Dublin to almost the other side of the country.  

Knockmore, County Mayo, Ireland
Ray & Rose

Our charming hosts Ray and Rose and their family made us feel like family.  They took us under their wings and guided us through life in Ireland.  There are a hundred stories I could tell you, but for now, let’s just say the area residents still remembers us as the crazy American ladies and their escapades. To see what Ray and Rose had to say click here and scroll down to the comments.

Missing my late husband, Bill in Ireland

Amazingly, Ray and Rose took their property that was inherited and over the years  and turned buildings that used to be for farm animals into some  true Irish cottages.  They actually did most of the work themselves.  To learn more about their seriously, reasonably priced accommodations click here and here for websites they are listed with.

Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic coastline

At first you notice that Knockmore is not the most touristy place to stay in by tourism standards, but we got to learn and see some Irish living real life.  We were close enough (the island isn’t that big),to get to Dublin by bus and England

Monastery close to Knockmore, County Mayo, Ireland
Monastery close to Knockmore, County Mayo, Ireland

by plane (Knock airport). We saw some castles, cliffs, ocean, ruins, monasteries and abbeys.  There is so much history in Ireland from their lifestyles to their churches.

St. Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn





Saint Patrick Monument
Saint Patrick Monument

In celebration of the upcoming Saint Patrick or better known as St. Paddy’s day here in the United States, we have an amazing Crock Pot Irish Soda Bread recipe that we adapted from delightfulrepast.com We made it healthier for us by changing out an ingredient or two.

Irish Soda Bread made in a crock pot

Just so you know, this bread is a much denser bread (sort of like cornbread)  than our American white bread and if your interested in learning the history behind this bread visit sodabread.info.  We found the bread to be great with chili, soups, or to snack on.  

One of the traditions they have in Ireland that I really have tried to adopt is that when they take long road trips (they – being the natives of Ireland), the Irish take actual restorative breaks by pulling the car off to the side of the road, putting out a couple of chairs or blanket and pouring out a hot beverage (mostly tea) and some sort of sweet bread, cookie or biscuit.  This bread would have fit in perfectly.

Irish Soda Bread sampling time
Irish Soda Bread sampling time

 I personally like some butter or jam on it with my coffee.  Make sure to give it a try (the bread and the rest stop) and let us know how it turned out for you.

Slow Cooker Irish Soda Bread

(Makes one 8-inch round loaf)


1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (to make your own dark brown sugar check out joythebaker.com). If you brown sugar becomes hard you can put it in a container with either 1/2 an apple or a slice of bread.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons *Olive Oil (*I changed this from unsalted butter to olive oil)
1 large egg


  1. In 2-cup glass bowl, mix together milk and vinegar; let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly spray the sides and the bottom of your slow cooker. Wiebke used a round 4 qt slow cooker.

    Denine's old slow cooker
    Denine’s 5 quart old keeps on kicking, slow cooker
  3. In large mixing bowl, mix together flours, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Rub olive oil into flour mixture with fingers. However, I preferred a whisk and Wiebke likes a mixer.

    Antique Whisk Bill got for me
    Antique whisk/egg yolk separater Bill got for me
  4. Whisk egg into the soured milk.
  5. Make a depression in center of flour mixture and pour in all but about 1/4 cup of the milk mixture. Slowly mix the flour mixture and the liquid. Stir gently to combine into a slightly sticky dough that can be formed into a very pliable soft ball, adding more liquid if needed.
  6. Lightly knead the dough in the bowl, 5 or 6 times, forming it into a ball.
  7. Place the dough ball into the center of the slow cooker. The dough will flatten a little to a diameter of roughly 6 inches and a height of about 2 1/2 inches.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut a 1/4-inch deep cross in the top of the dough. (This will help the bread to be baked through and to not have an underdone texture).
  9. Set the slow cooker to the “high” setting and bake for about 3-3 ½ hours. You can test if the bread is done by seeing if a toothpick stuck into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  10. Remove the loaf from the slow cooker and place it on a wire rack and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Cool the loaf off for about 2 hours. If you slice it before it as cooled off completely, it may fall apart.
  11. Disclaimer/Disclosure

Our trip to Ireland was declared a success, however I will leave you with a tidbit – Our adventures included getting lost the first day, almost running over our host, huge spiders, driving on the wrong side of the road, trading out our rental vehicle three times,  asking for directions from an Irishman with a very BROAD (I so didna understan a wood) accent and cows……..oh, and talking to sheep.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

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If you have any comments about how your Crock Pot Irish Soda Bread  turned out or other ideas for us to try, please let us know below in the comments.  And as Ray says, “its always lovely to hear from ye, spreading cheer and stories.”

2 Corinthians 9:10

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

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