Chopped kale, warm quinoa, toasted walnuts, sweet prunes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar = one of my favorite salads
Good for you ✅
Well, hello! A lunch salad or salad for dinner, this is a healthyish, feel good and good-to-eat salad. It’s economical, quick to fix, makes enough for leftovers that keep well plus delivers healthy dividends.
Warm quinoa kale salad pluses
Make once, eat more than that
I love recipes that are worth the cooking time. This one keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge. So it’s great to pack for lunch or grab from the fridge to catch your next Zoom meeting,
- Quinoa and walnuts kale provide protein (helps you feel full).
- Kale, prunes, and walnuts deliver fiber (aids digestion)
- Walnuts add crunch, prunes add naturally sweet chewy bites (makes it taste good)
Make this work for what you have. Substitute a whole-grain you have on hand. Use dried cranberries, raisins, or apricots rather than prunes. No walnuts? Use pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds.
How to make kale quinoa salad
Quinoa cooks in about 15 minutes. While it’s cooking, toast the nuts for about 12 minutes at 350℉. Chop the kale. Roll the leaves up like a cigar and thinly slice the ‘cigar.’ Pour warm quinoa over kale. Drizzle with vinegar and oil. Toss in nuts and prunes (or your fave dried fruit).
Kale has a reputation. Kind of like homework. It’s good for you but tough to like. It’s true kale delivers multiple health benefits, with potassium, vitamins and minerals. But it’s chewy texture and bitter taste, often keeps it off your plate.
How to make kale better or less bitter?
In this recipe, quick cooking warm quinoa is poured over chopped kale, which softens it. Then a 3-ingredient vinaigrette mellows the kale even more. Stir in crunchy walnuts and sweet prunes for an upscale salad that keeps well. I mean, it almost hides the kale.
How to cook quinoa
Quinoa is a quick cooking grain. Like 15 minutes quick. It’s a good source of protein and fiber. And in this recipe the warm quinoa softens the kale. That’s a mouthful of benefits!
Considered an ancient grain, the Incas called it “the mother grain.” It cooks quickly, and the tiny seeds unfurl as they absorb liquid. When quinoa seeds uncurl and you see a little tail, it’s finished cooking. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork to keep it from compacting.
MORE lunch ideas
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6 ingredients add up to an easy salad you’ll want for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 7 cups 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: stove
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Bulgur can be substituted for the quinoa. So can wheat berries, farro, or spelt, but these are longer-cook grains
Keywords: lunch salad, dinner salad, grain based salad, salad that keeps well, brown bag salad