Kale and roasted almond quinoa salad

This simple kale and roasted almond quinoa salad will hit the spot at Christmas (or any time). It can be served as a main or a side dish.

Topped with roasted almonds (or other nuts of your choice) and pomegranate seeds, it’s crisp, crunchy and full of flavour and texture. Tossed in a lemon-based vinaigrette, make sure to add the right amount of vinaigrette— just enough to tenderise the kale leaves and give your salad a fresh lemony finish.

Kale is packed with Vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and more. I call it the “Queen of Greens” because I find it to be one of the healthiest leafy greens around.

Below is how I prepared the salad.

Kale and roasted almond quinoa salad

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 4 cups tightly packed curly kale leaves (200 grams), thick stems removed
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced into half or quarter rings
  • 11/2 cups cooked quinoa ( I used 1/2 cup dry red quinoa cooked in 1 cup of boiled salted water)
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • Several handfuls of raw almonds (1/2 to 1 cup), roasted and chopped (can sub with other nuts like pecans, walnuts)
  • Pomegranate seeds (option)

Lemon vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • A pinch of each: Salt & Dried Oregano (or another herb)

PROCEDURE

For the lemon vinaigrette:

Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a small blender or Nutribullet bowl and blend until creamy. This will give you about 3/4 cup of vinaigrette. Set aside.

For the salad:

1. First roast the almonds or nuts: Set oven at 200C/ 390F (fan) or 220C/ 420F (standard). Spread the almonds (or other nuts) on a baking sheet and roast in pre-heated oven on middle rack for 6-7 minutes. Remove and coarsely chop the almonds. Set these aside in a bowl.

2. Remove large stems from the kale leaves. Rinse, spin the leaves and pat them dry with a tea towel.

3. Working in batches, tightly gather a small amount of the kale leaves and roughly slice them into thin ribbons. Transfer the sliced kale leaves into a big bowl and toss them with the sliced onion. Add 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette and toss again. Let the kale and onion mixture marinate in the bowl for about 30 minutes or more (can also cover and store in the refrigerator).

4. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa grain on stove-top. When done, transfer the cooked quinoa into a separate bowl and allow to cool down, for about 15-20 minutes (so they are not overly hot).

5. Toss the quinoa grain with the kale and onion. Add another 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss well. Add salt and ground pepper. Toss again and if need be, add another tablespoon of vinaigrette.

6. Before serving, transfer the salad into a serving platter and top with a generous amount of the chopped roasted almonds (or other nuts). Any leftover roasted almonds will keep well in a container. Garnish the salad with pomegranate seeds (option).

7. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette on the side (that way, more can be added to individual portions).

Store leftover salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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