Kale and Quinoa Salad
This Kale and Quinoa Salad is a powerhouse of nutrients! We're tossing together kale, quinoa, fresh fruit, feta cheese, crushed pistachios, and dried blueberries. Toss everything with a balsamic dressing and be prepared to fall in love with this salad!
Servings 6 servings (as a side)
- 1/2 cup (98g) quinoa tri-colored (or plain) with 1 cup water for cooking
- 5 cups (100g) curly kale rolled up like a cigar and very thinly sliced into ribbons
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 lemon optional
- 3/4 cup (100g) fresh strawberries hulled and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup (100g) fresh blackberries halved
- 3/4 cup (90g) fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup (88g) red seedless grapes halved
- 1/3 cup (58g) dried blueberries
- 1/4 cup (31g) shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup (43g) crumbled feta cheese
- Marzetti Simply Dressed Balsamic Salad Dressing (Note 1 for homemade balsamic dressing)
QUINOA: Combine the quinoa and water with salt to taste (I add 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt) in a small pot. Follow package directions to cook the quinoa. Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and quinoa has "popped", about 15-25 minutes (depending on heat, pot size, etc). Remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 5-10 minutes to steam. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl; refrigerate to chill through. (To get it cold faster, spread it on a lined sheet pan and place in the freezer.) Quinoa can be prepared 3-4 days in advance.
DRESSING: If preparing the dressing, start here so it has a chance to chill and for flavors to intensify. Follow directions in Note 1.
KALE PREP: Remove the coarse stems on the kale. (I do this by grabbing the bottom of the stem with one hand and running my other hand upward along the stem in a tight grasp to remove the leaves from the stem. Some of the stem at the top is fine to leave; we're more concerned about the bulky large portion of the stem.) Take the kale leaves, roll them up like a cigar, and finely slice the kale to make thin and small ribbons of kale.
MASSAGE THE KALE: Place in a colander and rinse. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt on top of the kale and squeeze on a few wedges of fresh lemon. Massage and rub the kale with clean hands for 2-3 minutes or until tender and a deep green color. Rinse again and thoroughly dry. (I add to a salad spinner.) Toss the completely cooled quinoa with the fully dried kale.
SALAD ASSEMBLY: Add the prepared fruit (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and grapes) to the salad. Add the dried blueberries, pistachios, and feta cheese. Drizzle dressing over to preference. (We use the entire homemade dressing amount or about 1/2 cup Marzetti dressing) Gently toss and enjoy immediately.
STORAGE: This salad doesn't sit well with the dressing, so only dress what will be used the same day. Store any leftover kale and quinoa separately from the dressing and salad toppings.
Note 1: Make your own balsamic dressing if you prefer. Combine the following ingredients in a Mason jar and shake to combine: 2 tablespoons (30g) balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon (14g) red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon (17g) Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon (20g) honey, 1/4 cup (47g) olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste (I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Store dressing in the fridge to allow flavors to intensify; shake again before adding to the salad.
Nutritional information is for the salad without dressing.
Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 1487mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 19878IU | Vitamin C: 279mg | Calcium: 414mg | Iron: 5mg