Kale quinoa salad with cranberries, walnuts and apples is crunchy and refreshing with a whole medley of different flavors. Gluten-free and Vegan.Kale quinoa salad was something I just had to make this week. I haven’t made a new quinoa dish in a while. I’ve really been slacking in the creative department with quinoa. I have made it a few times here and there but always choosing my go to recipes.
Not branching out to far.
Time for a change though.
I’ve got a solid three bags of tuscan kale to go through just sitting and waiting for me in the fridge so there’s no better time to get creative. I already made myself a kale vegetable juice and a kale salad. Kale chips will have to wait, because currently I am obsessed with my new favorite quinoa dish – crunchy kale quinoa salad.
This kale quinoa salad is a powerhouse and I mean power house of vitamins and nutrients. We’ve got dried cranberries, celery, toasted walnuts, chickpeas, fresh kale, tart apples and a tangy zesty lemon mustard dressing. Can you tasty the crunch already?
Yes yes yes!
I was searching for a kale-based quinoa recipes and after discarding at least a dozen that didn’t make the cut, I came across this recipe on the Produce and Parade blog. Now I don’t usually do the mixing of the fruit in with the savory main dish entrees but something about this recipe hooked me in right then and there.
I do have some good memories with the Waldorf salad though. In high school my friend and I used to leave school early when we had our study hall last period (don’t worry this was in accordance with high school rules) and drive over to California Pizza Kitchen where we would have lunch – usually splitting a pizza and their chicken waldorf salad. I used to love that salad, I mean we ordered it every single week and I loved the apples in that salad; I still remember this over 10 years later.
It must have been that dose of nostalgia that instantly had me chopping up kale and toasting the walnuts for this kale quinoa salad recipe.
And now this kale quinoa salad really is one of my favorite quinoa recipes. It’s got all the textures you would want in a dish – crunchy, creamy, crispy, hearty smooth. It’s got it all. I love the fresh crunch from the kale and the celery, with the soft chickpeas, and tartness of the apples and cranberries.
Oh and it’s both vegan and gluten-free. So next time you’re thinking of making a plant based meatless dinner make sure to put this salad on the menu. It was a hit with my whole family and even my normally quinoa hating dad!
There are just so many different ingredients in this kale quinoa salad all doing their part and adding in a huge burst of flavor and a varied texture. I simply love the variety of favors in this salad and cannot get enough!
How to make kale quinoa salad
A crunchy and refreshing kale quinoa salad with a whole medley of different flavors including, walnuts, chickpeas, cranberries and apples. Gluten-free and Vegan.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise if you are not vegan, or omit
- 2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 lemon zested
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 bunch of kale de-stemmed and chopped (about 3 cups)
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 granny smith apple chopped
- 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts chopped
In a pot heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and add the quinoa. Toast for a few minutes until just starting to brown and add the water. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered until cooked through (15-20 minutes). Fluff with a fork once cooked.
In a pan dry toast the walnuts over medium-low heat until toasted (making sure not to burn them)
In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, mustard, lemon juice , lemon zest, and mayonnaise (if using). Mix until smooth.
In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, kale, celery, chickpeas, cranberries and walnuts. Mix.
Top with dressing when ready to serve.
Recipe Adapted from Produce on Parade