It can be hard to find a kale salad that you absolutely love, but I promise you one spoonful of this salad and your hooked! This kale salad has quinoa, almonds, apples, and dried cranberries making it a delicious and wholesome dish that you can enjoy for lunch or side dish with meals. I lightly toast the almonds in this recipe which makes all the difference. A raspberry vinaigrette rounds it off giving you a burst of flavor. It makes a great summer salad or potluck dish!
Health Benefits of Kale and how to Prepare
If you haven’t eaten kale yet it’s time to give this dark green leafy vegetable a try. This nutrient dense vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. It also has magnesium, calcium, and potassium, important minerals for blood pressure regulation and heart health. Kale also contains many different antioxidants and is high in fiber.
To prepare kale, wash the leaves well and pat to dry. Place the kale on a cutting board and remove the middle stem using a knife. You may also use your hands to tear away the kale leaves instead. Then, start slicing the kale into small strips so you end up with shredded kale pieces. The final step is to ‘massage’ the kale. This simply means to rub the kale pieces together using your hand to help break down the fibrous fibers and makes it more tender. You’ll notice it becoming a darker green color and more silky.
Health Benefits of Quinoa and how to Cook
The quinoa in this salad provides a source of plant-based protein. Did you know that 1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 g of protein? Quinoa is considered a low carbohydrate seed because it contains only 12 g carbs for 1 cup. More importantly, quinoa contains many nutrients including folate, iron, and magnesium. It’s super easy and quick to cook making it a great addition to this kale salad. Cook quinoa just as you do rice; 1 cup dried quinoa requires around 2 cups liquid. Make sure to rinse the quinoa before cooking to remove quinoa’s natural coating called saponin, which can make it taste bitter. Even if the quinoa you buy mentions it’s pre-rinsed, I still give it a quick rinse before cooking.
Kale Quinoa Salad with Toasted Almonds and Raspberry Vinaigrette
This Kale Quinoa salad is a great plant-based salad that's easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 6 cups kale shredded
- 1 Gala or Granny Smith apple diced (leave the skin on)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup almonds sliced or slivered
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp raspberry jam
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the quinoa according to directions above then place on the side to cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, place the shredded kale. Add the cooked quinoa, apple pieces and dried cranberry.
In a separate bowl, add the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk well until smooth.
Add the vinaigrette to the salad and mix together.
In a pan add the canola oil and almonds, then start to lightly toast the almonds on low heat, making sure not to burn them.
Sprinkle the toasted almonds onto the salad and enjoy.
This salad is best enjoyed on the same day. Store leftovers in an airtight container for two days in the fridge.