#TheQuickDish: Kale and Quinoa Salad

A delicious, filling salad that happens to star 2 superfoods – kale and quinoa!

Marinated kale is a great trick for tenderising and flavouring tough kale leaves for eating raw. The addition of fresh herbs, a lemon dressing, nuts and feta makes all the difference that will convert even kale/quinoa haters. Added bonus – it keeps for days (unlike most salads), is filling enough as a meal by itself OR terrific as a complete veg + filling carb side for any protein (try this Baked Chicken Breast or Crispy Pan Fried Fish for quick meals). Makes 3 as a light meal, or serves 6 – 8 as a side. Recipe VIDEO below.

Servings: 3 – 6 people
Calories: 579 kcal
Author: Nagi


Marinated Kale:
  • 8 cups (packed) kale leaves (Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, any colour
  • 2 cups water
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (or American)
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional, I add it)
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dill leaves , roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup coriander/cilantro leaves , roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion , quartered and finely sliced (optional)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
  • 100 g/3.5oz crumbled feta



Marinated Kale:

  1. Scrunch up the kale leaves then slice to about 1cm / 2/5″ thickness.

  2. Transfer to large bowl.
  3. Drizzle over oil, scatter with salt and pepper. Use your hands to scrunch the kale leaves for 1 minute (see video). It should shrink to about half the size.

  4. Set aside for 30 minutes. The leaves will soften, making them suitable for eating raw.

  1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh colander, then rinse under running water for 30 seconds. Drain excess water well. (Or do this in a big bowl)

  2. Place in a saucepan with water. Cover with lid, bring to simmer over medium heat then leave for 12 – 15 minutes until all water is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat, leave lid on, and rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Fluff with fork then cool (spread on tray and refrigerate to speed up).
  1. Place ingredients in a jar, screw lid on and shake well. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  1. Add the quinoa into the bowl with the kale. Add all the dill and coriander/cilantro, half the nuts, feta, and 2/3 of dressing.

  2. Toss well.
  3. Transfer into serving platter or bowls. Drizzle with remaining dressing, garnish with remaining feta and nuts.

  4. See Note 3 for serving suggestions – I’ve been having this as a meal, just plain.

Recipe Notes

1. TO REMOVE KALE LEAVES – see video, it’s helpful. Hold the kale by the stem them grasp the base of the leafy part then run your hand up the stem to remove the leaves.

AMOUNT TO USE: No need for 100% accuracy here because the kale wilts so much with marinating. Use 8 cups jam packed with the kale leaves (before chopping).

TYPE OF KALE: Tuscan or curly kale is fine to use for this technique. I use curly kale because it’s the more common one here in Australia and it’s cheaper.

2. STORAGE: This is a great salad to keep for a few days – kale is quite hardy (unlike normal salad leaves which wilt quickly on contact with dressing). It’s great for 2 days, still good on Day 3. I like to hold back some of the Dressing (see recipe steps) for this reason – because it freshens up the salad to add dressing if serving after the day of making it.

3. HOW TO SERVE: I’ve been obsessively eating this as a meal. The quinoa makes this filling so you’re not craving ice cream 30 minutes after dinner. Try adding shredded chicken or even canned tuna for more protein.

It’s also terrific served as a side for any cooked protein because it’s veg + filling carb in one.

4. This is the nutrition assuming this is served as a meal (3 servings from recipe). I honestly find this filling as a meal (thank you Mr Quinoa), and I don’t even have the urge for ice cream! If used as a side for 6, it is 289 calories per person and I consider this to be a good veg + filling carby side for a meal.

Originally created from here.