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Kale Quinoa Salad

Here's a holiday side dish you can feel good about serving. Kale packs a mighty punch of vitamins, while quinoa delivers a hearty serving of protein. Best of all, the flavor of this kale quinoa salad can't be beat! —Lisa Warren, Washington, DC
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 25 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped fresh kale
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large saucepan, bring water and tomato juice to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 18-22 minutes. Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork.
  • In a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in kale and cook until wilted, 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in pine nuts and currants; cook until kale is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper; cook 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in quinoa. Serve at room temperature.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Go for freshly squeezed lemon juice when preparing this summery sipper. Bottled lemon juice, which is from concentrate, won’t provide the same bright, fresh flavor.
  • Common olive oil works better for cooking at high heat than virgin or extra virgin oil. These higher grades have ideal flavor for cold foods, but they smoke at lower temperatures.
  • Check out 50 more quinoa recipes you'll love.
  • Nutrition Facts
    2/3 cup: 190 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 164mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.

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    Average Rating:
    • lynnwright
      Feb 18, 2016

      Very tasty, nutritious and pretty on a plate. I used tri-color quinoa just for a bit of a change from regular. I also used raisins instead of currants because I had them on hand, and sunflower seeds for pine nuts (due to allergies in the family). If making for over the holidays, I think I'll try using some dried cranberries. Will definitely make this again!

    • HOGWriter
      May 16, 2014

      Excellent way to bring kale to the dinner table. We used plain 'ol raisins instead of the currents and sunflower kernels for the pine nuts (cheaper and provides same effect). Leftovers make great wraps when you add chopped chicken and a drizzling of creamy Caesar dressing (microwave about 30 seconds for 1100 watt oven and then fold up.)