Mexican Kale & Quinoa Salad

Monday, April 16th, 2012 | click here to comment

I've had something of an obsession with kale and quinoa lately. I can't seem to get enough of either ingredient and discovered that the combination is incredibly filling, believe it or not. Quinoa is packed with protein and is a gluten-free ancient grain that I'm sure everyone has heard of by now, and if not, you'll want to read more here.

I've  been running low on ideas for Meatfree Monday meals (there's only so many times a girl can get a vegetarian burrito), and decided to try and whip something up with kale and quinoa. Both have very assertive, earthy flavors that tend to go well with sweeter foods like dried berries, but I wanted something bold and summery to celebrate the warmer weather so I decided to make a Mexian-inspired salad with the two. 

I started with my base of kale, added some black quinoa (which tastes very much like regular quinoa), avocado for fat, mango for a citrus tang, jicama for crunch and tomato, because I love me some tomato. I whipped up a Cilantro Lime vinaigrette with some jalapeno thrown in for punch, and enjoyed it, but I didn't feel like it was powerful enough to balance the strong flavor of kale. I think I might use the dressing again for chicken or shrimp though. 

The whole dish is ridiculously easy to prepare, requiring only some short chopping time and a minute in the food processor for the dressing. It did the job in filling me up, but I think next time I might omit the kale, and add a little roasted corn to the quinoa. 

I'll update this post if I give it a whirl! Do you like cooking with quinoa? What are your favorite dishes to make with it?

mexican kale quinoa salad

Mexican Kale & Quinoa Salad 



  • 1 bunch of kale, roughly chopped 
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked according to directions on package (I used black quinoa)
  • 1 mango, cubed 
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup jicama, cubed 
  • 1 avocado, cubed

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup cilantro
  • Juice of 1 – 1.5 limes
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

For Dressing:  Add all ingredients to a food processor, except for the oil., Start blending and slowly drizzle in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For Salad: Mix all salad ingredients together and toss lightly with dressing. 


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