Kale Quinoa Salad


This kale and quinoa salad is packed with healthy ingredients and mixed with an easy vinaigrette. It contains kale, quinoa, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

My husband’s family loves quinoa. During the holidays, I picked up this quinoa salad from Costco and everyone raved about it. I’ve been pretty indifferent about quinoa but I enjoyed the salad a lot too and knew I had to make a homemade version of it.

To make the salad super colorful, I used three different kinds of kale and red and white quinoa. But to save time, you can keep it simple. If possible, I recommend using lacinato kale (sometimes called dinosaur kale or tuscan kale). The long leaves are less curly and more tender.


I decided to double the recipe so I’d have enough for leftovers for a few lunches. While I was making dinner, I asked Mr. K to help put a few items away including this salad. At the time, there was still a big bowl left– at least 4 to 6 servings. And he proceeded to eat the entire bowl!

So I guess I’ll have to make three times the amount next time. At least he’s eating healthy!

Kale Quinoa Salad

Kale and Quinoa salad with an easy vinaigrette. It's a healthy and delicious salad packed with good-for-you ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups packed kale, washed and dried and cut into small bite-sizes pieces (you want to keep them really small since kale is a rougher raw vegetable; make sure to remove stems and the thick center of the stalk; I used Lacinato kale, curly kale and purple kale)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (room temperature or chilled; I used red and white)
  • 1/2 cup diced persian cucumbers (diced into 1/4 inch cubes; 1 persian cucumber yields about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced cherry or grape tomatoes (about 1/4 inch cubes)

vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
 

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, add all vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk until everything is thoroughly mixed. Taste and adjust as needed.
  2. Add kale to a large salad/mixing bowl. Add in half of the vinaigrette. Using clean hands, massage the vinaigrette into the kale by applying pressure and rubbing kale leaves between your fingers. This will help break down the kale and soften it. Do this for about 1 minute. Mix kale with the dressing already in salad bowl, then set aside for about 20 minutes to allow the kale to further soften.
  3. After 20 minutes, add in cucumbers, tomatoes and quinoa. Mix with dressing already in the salad bowl. Taste and add more dressing as needed. It's okay if you do not use all the dressing. I usually use about 2/3 of it.
  4. Place salad into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the flavors of the dressing to develop. The salad does hold up pretty well so you can make this ahead of time and let it stay chilled for a few hours in the fridge or overnight.
Note: Lacinato kale is more tender than curly kale. If you only use lacinato kale you can skip the massaging and just let the vinaigrette break down the kale.

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