This Crunchy Kale and Quinoa Salad is the ideal Memorial Day salad – full of flavor and crunch, it’s bursting with color and boasting in nutrition!
Memorial Day weekend looks a little different for us this year, as I’m sure it does for many of you. I can’t say that we have any big plans to gather with friends and cookout. Nor do we have a quick weekend trip planned for our family.
But as with all things, we’re making an effort to keep things as normal as possible for the kids. And honestly, for ourselves. So while we may not be planning to gather with others, we are most definitely planning to eat an array of fresh, tasty foods.
Starting with this Crunchy Kale and Quinoa Salad! It’s a new favorite, one that I can eat again and again.
I’m all about great textures and interesting flavors when it comes to my salads. And this one does not disappoint. The base is simple, chopped kale + cooked quinoa. Two Superfoods, followed by a handful of cashews and pumpkins seeds, adding a lovely crunch that pairs beautifully with the sharp, slightly nutty flavor of the parmesan. The carrots and red cabbage add vibrant colors, while boosting the nutrition.
And then there’s the dressing. A friend recently text that her new fav dressing was super simple – olive oil, rice vinegar, raw honey and salt. Not having used rice vinegar in a dressing before, I was intrigued! Turns out it’s super yummy! I added a bit of apple cider vinegar and black pepper for personal preference, but it’s a seriously simple and seriously delicious dressing!
ALL the Reasons to Love this Crunch Kale and Quinoa Salad:
- Simple and delicious – enough said
- All ingredients can be chopping and prepped ahead of time for a quick assembly
- A powerhouse in the way of nutrition – thank you kale and quinoa!
- Vibrant in colors – food always tastes better when it’s full of color, right?!
- Would make a great addition to your Memorial Day Spread
I picked up all my ingredients for this salad at Sprouts. Which is forever my favorite grocery store, especially this time of the year! They have such great sales on their produce items, looking at the ad this week – they’ve got melons for $.98, organic blueberries 3/$5 and organic kale 4/$5, just to call out a few! Week after week, they have a large variety of organic fruits and vegetables at an unbeatable price. And it’s always super fresh.
And of course, then there’s bulk bins – love, love, LOVE the bulk bins.
I grabbed the organic quinoa, roasted pumpkin seeds, and raw cashews from the bulk bin. They’ve done an incredible job making the bulk bins safe during this Covid season. Rather than eliminating them temporarily, they’ve taken the time to carefully pre-package bags in slightly different sizes to meet the needs of their customers.
I’m so grateful for Sprouts, their employees, and the intention they’ve put into making things as safe as possible during this time.🧡
Whether you’re planning a small gathering with friends or spending the day with family, I hope the long weekend is one that brings rest, time with loved ones, and good food.
MORE TASTY OPTIONS FOR YOUR MEMORIAL DAY SPREAD:
Appetizers and Finger Foods:
- Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries with Garlic Aioli
- Healthy Jalapeño Pimento Cheese + Veggies
- Vegan Green Goddess Mexican Lettuce Wraps
- Roasted Broccoli Blue Cheese and Bacon Chopped Salad
- Chopped Apple Quinoa and Pecan Salad
- Quinoa White Bean Cheese and Kale Salad
- Easy Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Butternut Squash Veggie Burgers
- Sweet Potato and Beet Veggie Flatbread
- Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars + GF
- No Bake Chocolate Oat Quinoa Cookies (GF + Vegan)
- GF Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Hazelnut
Crunchy Kale and Quinoa Salad
FOR THE SALAD:
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- 1 ½ cups water
- 4-5 cups kale stems removed, chopped, and massaged*
- 2 cups purple cabbage finely chopped
- 2 large carrots peeled and finely chopped
- ½ cup raisins
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese or parmesan/asiago blend
- 1 medium avocado cubed
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Rinse 3/4 cup quinoa in cold water, then add to medium pot with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes or until fluffy. Set aside to cool. (See notes*)
- While quinoa is cooling, add 4-5 cups chopped kale, 2 cups purple cabbage, and 2 chopped carrots to a large salad bowl. Toss to coat until well combined.
- Once quinoa has cooled and is room temperature, add to the salad bowl, along with 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 roasted pumpkin seeds, 1/4 raw cashews, 1/2 parmesan cheese, and medium avocado. Toss until all ingredients are well combined.
- Divide into individual bowls and top with desired amount of dressing OR add about 1/2 of dressing recipe to the large bowl and toss to coat, taste and add more if desired (see notes*).
- Garnish with additional parmesan cheese, cashews, and pumpkin seeds.
- Feeds 3-4 as entree salad and 6-8 as side salad.
- To speed up the assembling of your salad, cook the quinoa ahead of time so it can cool, or cook it the night before and store in refrigerator.
- To massage your kale once it's chopped, add it to your large bowl first, drizzle it with a little olive oil or a bit of the dressing, then gently scrunch and massage it in your hands to soften it.
- I like to add my dressing to each bowl individually as some prefer more dressing than others. It also keeps any leftovers fresher in the refrigerator if dressing has not been added.
This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Lemons and Basil in action!