A kale salad is an easy and healthy way to start a meal or make it your whole meal. Top it with chicken, beef or shrimp for additional protein. This salad is perfect for meal prep.
This is one of my favorite salads to make when I don’t have a lot of time. With the quinoa added you get all of protein you need making this a great vegetarian recipe without the parmesan. I love this recipe for my meal prep. It makes enough for several meals and I can dress it the morning of and it is perfect for lunch or dinner. If you like a little heat then you can add some chili oil to the vinaigrette.
In this recipe
There are very few ingredients in this salad but there are some substitutions that can be made if you want to switch it up.
Pumpkin seeds: these are great to add texture, you can switch these with sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or slivered almonds.
Cherry tomatoes: it is best to cut these in half however you can use a larger tomato if they are diced.
Currants: these can be swapped out with raisins, sultanas, or any other dried fruit like cherries or cranberries.
Making the quinoa
The only part of this recipe that requires cooking is the quinoa. You want to make sure that you rinse it off well before you cook it. Once the water starts to run clear. While this isn’t necessary the natural pesticide on the quinoa might lead to a bitter taste and digestive distress. I would advise that you make it ahead of time to allow the quinoa to cool. The addition of hot quinoa will make the kale wilt and cook.
A great champagne vinaigrette
I love using champagne vinegar for almost all of the my salad dressings. However you can use white wine or rice wine vinegar as well for this recipe. While apple cider vinegar is an option it is a lot more aggressive and harsh than the others. The honey is used as an emulsifier and I prefer using roasted garlic or garlic confit instead of fresh garlic. It will lend a more subtle flavor, but either way you will have a very tasty vinaigrette.
The perfect kale salad
Now the best part is putting all of your delicious ingredients together. I personally like to add half of the kale and then half of the toppings. Then toss that with about a quarter of the dressing. Next you want to add the remaining kale and then top with the rest of the ingredients and toss with another quarter of the dressing. This will help the dressing coat everything. If you need some more dressing then feel free to add more.
Looking for other salad recipes?
Quinoa Kale Salad with Currants
- Mixing Bowl large
- 6 cups kale chopped
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes halved
- ¾ cup currants
- ¾ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup red quinoa uncooked, rinsed
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chili oil optional
- Prepare the quinoa according to the package instructions.
Prepare the dressing
- In a blender combine all of the dressing ingredients. Starting on a low speed blend the dressing and increase the speed until everything is well blended. Set aside.
Making the salad
- Once the quinoa is cooked and is starting to cool. Add the kale, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, currants, quinoa, and parmesan cheese together. Toss with half of the salad dressing. Add additional dressing if desired.