Summer is the perfect time for lighter eating, and while lettuce-based salads are a seasonal staple, they can be a little, well, Dullsville. Instead, we’re livening up our weekend lunches with this kale and quinoa salad, which combines the protein-packed power of quinoa with antioxidant-rich kale and some zesty add-ins, like juicy mango and crisp edamame.
If you haven’t quite warmed up to kale yet, we promise that this is one of the best ways to eat it. For starters, it’s raw, so you’re not compromising even a bit of its nutritional value by cooking it. It’s cut up into tiny chunks and is balanced by the chewiness of the quinoa, so you never get a big mouthful of leaf. And the kale’s characteristic bitterness is offset by the citrus dressing and mango, which lend it a sweet, fruity flavor that should please both young and older palates.
Even better, you can make a double this kale and quinoa salad recipe and store it in the fridge for at least a week, so you always have a quick—and complete—lunch or dinner ready to go, no extra time required. And who doesn’t need a little more of that on a weekday afternoon or evening?
What are you waiting for? We guarantee this will be the best 15 minutes you’ve spent in the kitchen in a long time.
Quinoa Salad with Kale, Mango, and Pumpkin Seeds
By Sarah Bessette
For the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1–2 large basil leaves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
For the quinoa
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
3 cups baby kale
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 mango, diced
1 avocado, diced
4 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
- Make the vinaigrette by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and basil leaves in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the quinoa, kale, and red onion with the vinaigrette. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- When ready to serve, toss the quinoa mixture with the tomatoes, mango, avocado, and pumpkin seeds.