Kale quinoa salad with chopped walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice is a light, fresh and healthy side dish!
This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms, where I’m a contributor.
(UPDATE: You can watch my daughter and I make this salad on our Facebook Live video from May 2017. 💕)
Hello there friends!
I hope you are having a lovely week! If you read my healthy chicken taco casserole post earlier this week and my laundry achievements, I'd just like you to know that I'm back to square one. Lots of clean clothes here, all heaped into piles. (And lots of dirty towels and sheets that need to get done. At some point...)
Nope, no one's got it all together. (Or maybe you do. Which is fabulous. For you. Just don't share, OK? 😜)
Anyway, today I’m bringing you a restaurant re-make, just like my recent curried wild rice salad with raisins and pecans. This kale quinoa salad is my go-to for lunch when we’re at BrickTop’s, one of our frequent go-tos on the weekend with the kids.
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.
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!
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 hit of citrus flavor from a squeeze of lemon at the end puts this salad over the top!
Notes on kale and 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 alongside 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!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
- 3-4 cups 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
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (or hard Italian cheese)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 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 Parmesan cheese, walnuts and lemon juice 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.
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 like the salty bite from the Parmesan cheese, but you could try this with crumbled goat cheese for a creamy version. Or try feta!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 9g