Quinoa Kale Salad

I woke up at 6am on Halloween to make a bunch of things in the kitchen. A cheesecake, a banana bread, and this kale salad. I make Lee a birthday cheesecake every single year. I got up early to let the cream cheese soften at room temperature for an hour, zested the oranges and lemons by hand, made the crust, mixed everything together and put it in the oven. Only to see that 15 minutes later it was brown. By 9 am I had a black cheesecake cooling on my countertop, with white cracks showing though.

Man I am happy I also made this salad for my office potluck that morning. At least one things turned out right. This salad is the only thing that saved my sanity during my 3 hour early morning cooking session. And it’s so easy to make, it is basically impossible to mess it up.

And before you X out of this window because you shrivel your face when you hear the word “kale”, trust me on this one. I am not a big kale person either. The trick is to remove the ribs that make all kale taste like a tree, massage the leaves for a few minutes by hand, pour the warm quinoa over the kale and toss in an acidic dressing that helps break the leaves down. All of which help to soften the kale and make it more lettuce-like. Toss in some roasted bell peppers, toasted pepitas, feta cheese, and the lemon vinaigrette and you are set.

A healthy, easy kale salad recipe. So basically, not a black, burned cheesecake (which I still force my husband to eat with a GD smile on his face).



3 red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds or pepitas
1 and 1/2 cup raw quinoa
3 cups water or broth
6 cups chopped kale, ribs removed
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 and 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. While oven is warming up, arrange pepitas on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, until toasted and fragrant.
  2. Toss bell peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper and arrange on a baking sheet. When the oven is heated up completely, bake bell peppers for 20 minutes.
  3. While the peppers are in the oven, combine the quinoa and water (or broth) in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and let sit for another 5 minutes.
  4. Massage the kale leaves by hand for about 3 minutes until the leaves have wilted slightly (they should become slightly darker and softer, and will reduce down some).
  5. Pour the warm, cooked quinoa over the kale and toss to combine (the heat from the quinoa should soften the kale even more).
  6. Add the roasted bell peppers, toasted pepitas and Feta cheese in the bowl. Toss to combine.
  7. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over everything. Toss again to combine. This salad can be served immediately or can sit in the fridge for up to one day dressed.

3 thoughts on “Quinoa Kale Salad

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Recipes in 2017 | honey + spice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s