Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette – words cannot describe how good this salad is. This bright and fresh kale salad is a great way to start loving kale. This recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Paleo!
So I’ll admit this, while I love my salads, I’m not one that goes out of her way to buy kale and make these “green goddess” salads. Nope that’s just not me. No matter how much people rave about how good kale is and how good it is for you, I kind of disagree because I’d rather eat bacon, let’s just put it that way.
Now bacon I can rave about for days. But sometimes in your life, and I mean just sometimes, like once in your lifetime kind of thing, you come across a kale salad that makes you smile and think to yourself that yeah I can eat kale salad and enjoy it.
I had a client hire me for a Ladies Luncheon for her birthday. The plan was to go hiking early in the morning and come back to have a nice light lunch.
There was a total of 35 women and some were vegan. So immediately I started thinking about how can I pull off this lunch. I was thinking of fresh, healthy, but tasty lunch items!
For me this wasn’t exactly easy since the main part of my business is sweets. But I took on the challenge happily!
First thing is what time of year is the party, Springtime! Okay, then what is great for you after a hike. I don’t want to give my clients and her guests something heavy to weigh them down, like potato salad. So since I’m thinking fresh and light it’s a farmers market I go for inspiration.
Walking around a farmers market in the early morning is beautiful the colors are amazing. The vendors are usually all local and you can ask them any questions about their product. Anyways, its my favorite!
One of the produce vendors was passing out a sample of a dressed kale salad. It was sweet and tangy. I couldn’t believe it but kale is not my favorite. It had golden raisins and almonds with shredded Parmesan cheese and a lemon dressing. (Don’t tell but I went back for seconds lol). I knew right away I had to make this for the party.
I figured I could make the cheese optional for the vegans. I’m a big support of texture in my dishes like crunchy almonds in a salad, perfect! So how i can create more of a meal out of this salad. There was going to be other dishes but still I didn’t just want to make a salad my client could get anywhere.
The combination of quinoa and kale, I have had in the past and went well together. Quinoa is the perfect super food. I made a tangy lemon vinaigrette to keep it light and toasted almond slices to bring out more flavor.
I added golden raisins. (I have also used dried cranberries and it works great!) I love artichokes so marinated ones are perfect in the oil with herbs. And since its southern California avocado can’t hurt. The avocado actually gives a creamy texture as well (see texture lol).
I was able to dress this salad early and it didn’t welt at all by the time it was served. It was one of the favorites of the day. You can easily half or double this recipe to meet your needs.
This recipe was created for a luncheon after a 8 mile hike. Let’s just say these ladies were hungry!
What do you like to eat after hiking or taking a long walk? Let me know!
Kale Quinoa Salad
PALEO - GLUTEN FREE - DAIRY FREE
- 2 bunches culry kale chopped
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa cooked
- 1/2 cup golden raisins substitute dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds sliced
- 1 avocado cubed
- 1 large red bell pepper small cubes
- 1 jar marinated artichokes
- optional shaved parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon honey
Read directions on the package of quinoa. Cook fully. Let cool before mixing with other ingredients.
In a preheated 350 degree F oven, place sliced almonds on a baking pan and roast for 5 minutes, check and rotate. Check every 2 minutes, until golden brown, you can smell it. Let cool.
Fold kale in half and remove all steams. Chop curly kale to small stripes and then rinse under running water in a colander. Rinse several times to remove any dirt. Hold to the side to drain. (let dry off before mixing, or the dressing will slide off kale)
Rinse and cut red bell pepper into small cubes. Hold to the side.
Drain artichokes 1/4 through a strainer, (you’ll need another bowl underneath to catch any oil that runs off, DO NOT out that down the sink), discard of oil. Put artichokes to the side.
In a small mixing bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and honey mix vigorously with a whisk. (Since the dressing is a vinaigrette, it will separate when not being stirred).
In a large bowl, combine kale, red bell pepper, almonds, cooled quinoa, artichokes, and raisins. Lightly pour dressing over and mix til everything is incorporated. Cube an avocado and if needed sprinkle Parmesan on top. Lightly pour more dressing on top of salad. And serve.
This salad can be dressed and stored in an airtight container and can be eaten the next day. The kale and other ingredients hold up nicely after being dressed. So there is no problem making this hours before serving.
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