Kale and Quinoa Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette


This superfood salad is a copycat of BrickTops’ popular Kale & Quinoa salad. Packed with juicy red grapes, crunchy sunflower seeds, and a tangy apple cider vinaigrette, this healthy salad is perfect for meal prep!

Looking for a healthy meal prep salad that isn’t boring? Make this kale and quinoa salad! It’s vegan, gluten-free and easy to make!

To make this salad, you will need a few ingredients.

Ingredients

This salad takes a few ingredients but it comes together really fast. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Quinoa
  • Kale
  • Seedless red grapes
  • Toasted sunflower seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey or sugar
  • Salt and pepper

TIP: Use precooked or frozen quinoa – the salad will come together in under 10 minutes.

Directions

This recipe is made in three main steps:

  1. Cook the quinoa and prep the grapes and sunflower seeds.
  2. Use a blender or food processor to finely chop the kale.
  3. Blend the vinaigrette and toss all ingredients to combine.

Why make a kale salad? This kale salad is better because it won’t leave your jaws tired from chewing raw kale. Chopping the kale in a food processor helps break it down to seamlessly blend into the salad.

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I hear “kale is hard to chew” often. This way you don’t have that issue and this salad is quite flavorful.

Best way to chop kale?

I suggest using a food processor. A blender will also work but it’s a lot harder to get the tiny pieces of kale out of one.

Yes. I promise that if you leave the kale whole, you won’t like the salad as much.

The idea behind this salad is to make it a little like a tabouli. I say a little like because all of the ingredients are different. Traditional tabouli is made with bulgur, parsley, onion and lots of lemon.

In this kale quinoa salad, the quinoa takes the place of the bulgur, the kale replaces the parsley, and the grapes are a sweet stand-in for tomatoes. The sunflower seeds add crunch and the tangy dressing brings it all together.

Kale QUinoa salad in a bowl

What’s the best kale for salads?

For this recipe, you can use any type of fresh kale.

I am a huge fan of the Lacinato, Tuscan, or dinosaur kale varieties. These tend to be more tender than the standard curly, green kale you see.

In most raw salads – ones where you are not chopping it like in this one – I recommend using baby kale. It’s the most tender of all – almost like eating spinach.

Can I use a different vinegar?

Yes. Of course. Use whatever you have on hand. The apple cider vinegar is nice because it adds the slightest hint of sweetness. But you can absolutely use white wine vinegar or skip it and double up on the lemon juice for a decidedly more tart flavor.

When I shared this recipe during a cooking demo, someone asked if you can omit the Dijon mustard. Yes. That should be fine. But I like the little extra flavor it adds.

Missing an ingredient?

This recipe is adaptable. You can swap the grapes for apples and may even be able to use brown rice for the quinoa. You can also use finely chopped almonds for the sunflower seeds. I haven’t tried either of these yet.

You can also add in a little Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup grated) or crumbled feta or goat cheese if that’s your thing. I didn’t find it necessary.

Can this salad be made vegan?

Yes. To make it vegan, simply swap the honey for granulated sugar. The honey in this recipe makes it vegetarian, not vegan.

How long does this salad last?

It will last at least 3-5 days in the refrigerator. It’s the perfect meal prep salad.

This salad is actually better the next day but can get a little dry if the quinoa soaks up the dressing. You might make extra or reserve some of the vinaigrette to freshen it up the next day.

Healthy salad recipes

Here’s the easy recipe!

Superfood salad piled high in white bowl with sunflower seeds scattered around

Print Recipe

Kale Quinoa Superfood Salad

This superfood salad is a copycat of BrickTops’ popular Kale & Quinoa salad. Packed with grapes, sunflower seeds, and a tangy apple cider vinaigrette, this healthy salad is perfect for meal prep!.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Salad

Cuisine: American

Keyword: kale salad

Servings: 8

Calories: 311kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • 4 cups finely chopped kale (~ 1/2 pound, stems removed)
  • ¾ cup quartered red grapes
  • 1 cup roasted sunflower seeds

Vinaigrette

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey*
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa, olive oil, and salt. Stir. Bring quinoa to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover pan with lid. Cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and let cool.

  • Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake until the honey dissolves. Add the cooled quinoa, kale, grapes, and sunflower seeds to a bowl. Add the vinaigrette. Toss and serve.

Notes

Make it vegan: Make this recipe vegan by using maple syrup or sugar instead of honey. Make it for meal prep: This salad will last at least 3-5 days in the refrigerator. It’s the perfect meal prep salad

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 398mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3356IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg





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