Salads don’t have to be boring. This one is packed with flavor. The sweet roasted grapes are a delicious treat that will burst in your mouth. The toasted almonds add a crunch that makes it so fun to eat, and the kale and quinoa make this a filling and satisfying meal.
I love to top this salad with simple pan seared chicken breast. It increases the protein intake, plus, it brings great texture and makes it a full meal. Adding chicken or any other protein is of course completely optional.
This is how I made this super tasty Kale Quinoa Salad:
Start by following the cooking instructions for the quinoa. Even if the cooking instructions don’t call for it, I like to add salt and a small drizzle of olive oil to the boiling water.
Tip! Seasoning every component of a dish makes it tasty from top to bottom. When cooking, make sure to season every time you add an ingredient. Nothing crazy, but just enough to make sure everything has been given love 😉
While the water for the quinoa comes to a boil, start toasting the almonds. Place the almonds in a small pan on medium low heat. They take like 5 minutes to get golden and crunchy. Once they are toasted, remove from heat and let cool completely.
Tip! Keep an eye on the almonds as they can burn quickly. Swirl the pan every now and then to make sure they toast up evenly.
While the almonds toast and the water for the quinoa comes to a boil, start slicing the shallots. Slice them thinly as they will caramelize quicker if they are thin.
In a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, combine the shallots and grapes and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Make sure they are all coated evenly with the oil.
Bake the grapes and shallots in a preheated 350° oven for 15-18 minutes until the shallots are golden and the grapes are blistered. Once they are roasted, remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
Tip! If you add the grapes and shallots while they are still warm, they will wilt the kale and the romaine lettuce, so make sure they are absolutely completely cool!
The quinoa takes around 15 minutes to cook. This is roughly around the same time the grapes will roast in the oven. When the quinoa is cooked make sure it cools completely.
Tip! I like to speed up the cooling process of the quinoa by placing it in a shallow plate and spreading it evenly and putting it in the freezer. It’ll be ready to use in less than 5 minutes.
Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle extra virgin olive oil. Using your hands, start massaging the kale. (Hands are a cook’s best tool) Use your fingers to coat the kale in the olive oil, all the while massaging the kale. This is the perfect time to remove any large hard stems that are uncomfortable to eat. Discard those.
What do I mean by “Massaging the Kale”? I know, it sounds weird. I mean rubbing it with my hands and making sure each piece is coated by the oil. Kale is pretty firm, so giving it a rub with my hands softens up the leaves and makes the texture nicer to eat.
After a minute or two of massaging the kale, it will look shiny and glossy. You will also notice that it will be softer and way more tender than when you started. This means that it’s ready!
Tip! Your eyes and hands are so helpful when cooking, they tell you when an ingredient is ready by how they feel to the touch.
Chop the romaine lettuce into thin strips and mix with the kale. Add the feta crumbles, cooled quinoa, cooled almonds and the cooled grapes. Drizzle a little bit of red wine vinegar and combine well.
Serve this salad as is, or add grilled chicken. Shrimp would be nice too, or even steak would compliment this salad beautifully.
- Salad bowl
- Small pan
- Small cookie sheet
- 2 cups red seedless grapes about 50
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 2 cups fresh kale
- 1 cup romaine lettuce finely chopped
- 1/2 cup multicolor quinoa
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- red wine vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Cook the quinoa following the package instructions. Add salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the water you will cook it in even if the instructions don't call for it.
- After the quinoa is cooked through, let it cool completely.
- In a small pan, toast the almonds on medium low heat. Keep an eye on them and swirl the pan constantly to help them toast evenly.
- Slice the shallot thinly and place in a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Season with salt, pepper and drizzle olive oil. Combine well.
- Bake the grapes and shallots in a preheated 350° oven for 15-18 minutes.
- After the grapes and shallots are roasted let them cool completely.
- Place the kale in a salad bowl and drizzle olive oil. Using your hands, massage the kale for a minute or two.
- Rub the kale leaves together and coat in the olive oil. Discard any hard stems left in the kale.
- Once the kale is glossy and tender, chop the romaine lettuce and mix in with the kale.
- Add the feta crumbles, cooled almonds, cooled quinoa and cooled shallots and grapes.
- Do a small drizzle of red wine vingegar to the mixture and combine well.
- Serve the salad as is or serve with your favorite choice of protein.