In a small saucepan, add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup quinoa, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and fluffy. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place rinsed and torn kale leaves in a large mixing bowl. Add some olive oil and a pinch of salt and massage the kale with both of your hands for about 5 minutes. (This step will help reduce the bitter flavor of the kale. Set aside.)
Now, make the vinaigrette by adding Dijon mustard, lemon juice, oregano leaves, salt, red pepper flakes, maple syrup and garlic in a blender. Blend until smooth, then slowly add extra virgin olive oil, continue blending until well combined.
Add carrots, pine nuts, dried cranberries and cooled quinoa in the mixing bowl with the kale. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss all ingredients together. Taste, sprinkle with more salt if desired. Dish and season with freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!