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…
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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!
- 3/4 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
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 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.
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