Whats for Dinner?: Quinoa and Kale Salad (One-Pot Superfood)

Sunday, Jun 03, 2012 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (8)

I’m always on the look-out for healthy things to feed the kids, but end up being bored hearing about kale. This superfood quinoa and kale salad is a nutrient-packed dish and even better, it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare and you only need one pan.

Every other day there seems to be a new article about the health benefits of this “superfood”—I get it, it’s really healthy (full of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, luetin etc.) but I have to admit that beyond kale chips, I’ve run out of ways to smuggle it into the kids diets. It has become the new broccoli—everyone knows you should eat it but hates the taste.

So, this dish combines kale with another superfood and creates a real tasty winner. The other ingredient is the wonder-grain-du-jour, quinoa. Although technically it is not a grain but a pseudocereal. Who knew?

(By the way, “quinoa” is pronounced “key-nwar” which leads to endless jokes in our house. When I say “endless” I actually mean the same joke repeated endlessly by my husband: any time someone pronounces it the right way, he indignantly and righteously corrects them by saying “Actually, it’s pronounced quin-no-ah!” It’s like Dan Quayle adding an “e” to potato. Only not as funny.)

The kale is steamed on top of the quinoa which means it retains its sulforaphane (a chemical with strong anti-cancer properties). When you boil kale, it reduces the level of sulforaphane and kills a lot of the taste. Steaming it gives you both the benefits and a much better taste.

Anyway back to this salad, as well as being healthy, it is very, very tasty. You can add, omit, or substitute ingredients and I promise it will be good. You can make it nutty by using a sesame or walnut oil instead of the olive oil. If goat cheese is not your thing, you can use feta or blue.

Add balsamic, add cherry tomatoes, add dried cranberries, ask your kids to choose add-ins, customize your kale salad. Here’s the basic recipe that I promise will be tasty and easy, and may become one of your weekday dinners.

One-Pot Superfood Salad with Quinoa and Kale

Ingredients – serves 4

  •     1 cup of quinoa
  •     2 cups of water
  •     1 bunch kale, remove the stem and chop into small pieces
  •     1 clove of garlic, minced
  •     1 handful of chives or scallions, finely chopped
  •     1 handful of chopped fresh herbs – parsley, mint or cilantro
  •     1 lemon, juiced and zested
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
  •     ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  •     Salt and pepper

Bring the water to the boil, add the quinoa and stir. Let it simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Then add the kale to the quinoa, do not stir it in, just let it sit on top of the quinoa. Cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it steam for a further 5 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, , garlic, scallions, oil, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese.

Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and tip it into the serving bowl with the remaining ingredients.

Toss to combine, season with salt and pepper. Add the remainder of the lemon juice if needed.

Quin-no-ah. You’ll love it!


  1. POSTED BY wheelie07042  |  June 03, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    Actually, it IS pronounced “quin-noh-ah”.


  2. POSTED BY keenonquinoa  |  June 03, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    Actually, it’s pronounced Keen-wah.


    I love combining kale with quinoa, and as long as I wilt it, my kids prefer kale over spinach.

  3. POSTED BY Sandy  |  June 03, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    Do you really think that a man is going to eat this ? Okay, there is a slim chance one or two might – but do yu think he is going to like it ?
    Take him up to Eppes Essen in Livington (next to Livingston Car Wash) and order a HOT Corned Beef & Pastrami on fresh baked warm real rye with their cole slaw and a deep bowl of assorted types of pickles, pickled tomatoes, and onions and see how much he would love that, compared to your Quinoa and Kale, Parsley & Mint “surprise

  4. POSTED BY lisadavies  |  June 03, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    Keenonquinoa – I know for a fact wheelie07042 was joking about the pronunciation…it is his joke to say it quinoa….long story. Yes my kids prefer kale too, not conquered spinach yet with them.

    Sandy – thought you might like this bag https://www.cafepress.com/+real-men-eat-quinoa+bags The Incas loved quinoa and they were real men!

  5. POSTED BY lisadavies  |  June 03, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    Oh and Sandy, Mr D loved it….just try it! Add some pastrami to it, make your own signature dish!

  6. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  June 04, 2012 @ 10:07 am

    Sandy- Good morning it is 2012. Most men I know who like to feel good and don’t have a nasty beer gut hanging over their belt LOVE quinoa.

  7. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  June 04, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    Oh and Lisa this looks great. We eat tons of the quin from the land of wah during the summer and I am making this recipe ASAP which we prenounce “as-a pee”

  8. POSTED BY pbhealthy  |  September 04, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

    I have been eating a Quinoa and Kale salad for years, I add Goji berries, Sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, craisins,raw Red, green and yellow peppers, olives and Moringa powder, absolutely amazing, served with a Ginger sesame dressing or raspberry vinegarette, absolutely amazing, Super properties

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