Kale Quinoa Salad with chopped walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese, and a squeeze of lemon juice is a light, fresh and healthy side!
KALE QUINOA SALAD
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Hi, it’s Kathryn from Family Food on the Table and I’m thrilled to be joining the Real Housemoms team! I’ve got lots of tasty recipes planned for you. 🙂
Today I’m bringing you a restaurant re-make. This kale quinoa salad is my go-to for lunch when we’re at BrickTop’s. My husband loves going out to lunch and ordering all the manly food that I tend not to make at home. We’re talking meaty hamburgers, French dip sandwiches, fried chicken, ribs…
Cause at home he’s more likely to get Parmesan sheet pan chicken and broccoli with bell peppers or my one-pot vegetarian spaghetti. Good eats for sure, but definitely on the healthy side. So he tends to splurge if we dine out.
Me, I like to keep it light most of the time, especially at restaurants where I know they add more salt, more butter, more oil, more everything than I ever would at home.
But this little side salad of massaged kale and fluffy quinoa in a citrus dressing? It’s delicious, light, filling and right up my alley! I order it almost every time we go. (I kinda love having a pre-selected go-to recipe at a restaurant. Does that make me boring?!)
So I finally started making it at home to serve as a side for dinner (and hopefully, have enough leftovers for a little lunch the next day for me!)
The bright, fresh kale leaves, the tender bits of quinoa sprinkled throughout and the toppings of meaty walnuts, cheesy Parmesan and a hint of citrus flavor from a squeeze of lemon at the end puts this salad over the top!
A few notes on this kale quinoa salad:
- You can prep the kale and cook the quinoa ahead. Store them separately in the refrigerator then combine and mix with the other ingredients before serving.
- I love toppings so I like serving this with extra chopped walnuts and Parmesan cheese. And a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to help it really pop.
- If you have champagne vinegar, you could definitely use that. I think that’s what the restaurant uses, but I don’t tend to have that on hand.
- I like the salty bite from the Parmesan cheese, but you could try this with crumbled goat cheese for a creamy version. Or try feta!
This would go great with some grilled or roasted chicken or fish or pork. Or you could just top it with some store-bought rotisserie chicken and call it a night!
Cheers to a healthy, happy New Year and to this kale quinoa salad to brighten your day!
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa cooked in water
- 3-4 cups of fresh kale leaves washed and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar divided
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- juice of 1 lemon
- For serving: lemon wedges extra chopped walnuts and Parmesan cheese, drizzle of olive oil
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions, then let cool.
- Meanwhile, massage the chopped kale with 1 teaspoon each of the vinegar and olive oil. Let sit for 20 minutes to soften and tenderize the kale leaves.
- Combine the quinoa and kale in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, remaining teaspoon of olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Pour over quinoa and kale and mix to coat.
- Add walnuts and Parmesan cheese and stir to coat. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
- Serve with extra chopped walnuts and Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.