This Kale Quinoa Salad with Orange Miso Dressing is crazy delicious and so easy to make. An amazing nutrition powerhouse salad of kale, quinoa, mandarin oranges, and so much more!
How to prepare kale for salad
Kale has been called the angry lettuce, because is it much more fibrous and less delicate than say baby spinach, romaine, or other leafy greens. The good news is that you can eat kale raw in a salad with one easy trick.
I have found that massaging kale with lemon or orange juice and a little sea salt make it much more tender and flavorful. And who can blame it? We all could use a little massage to soften our attitude every now and then!
How long should you massage kale? Surprisingly, it only takes about 2-3 minutes.
Though the stems are edible, they are the most fibrous part of the plant, so I advise taking them out to make a more delicate dish.
One thing I’ve noticed with the pre-cut kale in bags is that the leaves are sliced horizontally which causes the stems to be included in them. The stems are so fibrous that it’s best to take them out for most recipes.
Those cut bags of kale are great for things like smoothies, but not so much for raw kale salad. I always buy the whole leaf kale and de-stem it, because it only takes a few minutes.
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There is even a kitchen tool called Loose Leaf Kale, Chard, Collard Greens and Herb Stripper to make it very simple.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain that was a staple in the diet of the ancient Incas. It has a delicious flavor and a light, fluffy texture. It’s also packed with protein!
Quinoa is packed with essential nutrients — and has a high nutritional value, according to a 2009 review in “Advances in Food and Nutrition Research.”
Authors of this review point out that quinoa is a pseudograin that has an impressive protein content of 15 percent, and one of the few plant-based, complete protein foods.
Quinoa is packed with numerous essential vitamins and minerals, while being free from dietary cholesterol and low in sodium.
According to the USDA, vitamins and minerals abundant in quinoa are vitamin E, folate, B vitamins, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and even a small amount of calcium.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from becoming damaged, and potassium helps offset sodium’s negative effects on blood pressure, notes MedlinePlus.–LiveStrong
Can you cook quinoa in a rice cooker?
Quinoa cooks on the stovetop just like rice in about 15-minutes, but I prefer to make it my rice steamer. The rice steamer simplifies everything. I just add the quinoa and water, press the button, and walk away.
No need to worry about over cooking or sticking. It just does its thing and then clicks over to Stay Warm until we’re ready to eat.
Raw kale salad ingredients
This raw kale and quinoa salad is packed with healthy ingredients and mixed with an easy to prepare dressing. And, it’s vegan and gluten-free!
There are so many ingredient options for massaged kale salad, and it really depends on your preferences. Adding quinoa or any type of whole grain to your salad is a great way to make it more filling and boost the nutrition in it.
In the case of quinoa, you’ll be adding protein, fiber and healthy complex carbohydrates.
These are some of my favorite kale salad ingredients–besides the kale, of course.
- shredded carrots
- broccoli slaw
- cabbage (green, purple, Napa)
- grain (quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, etc)
- edamame beans
- mandarin oranges
- sunflower seeds (pumpkin seeds, crushed peanuts, etc)
- dressing of choice (orange miso dressing below is perfect)
Quinoa Salad Dressing
It’s the orange miso dressing that really pushes this kale and quinoa recipe over the top. The great thing is that the dressing–made with orange juice, rice vinegar, miso, garlic, ginger, sweetener, and black sesame seeds–taste so great that it can be used with other recipes or even as a salad dressing.
This is a hearty salad that keeps a few days in the refrigerator for a nutritious lunch option or a dinner side dish during the busy work week.
Great way to keep a healthy lifestyle on track and keep you feeling amazing!
Other great salad recipes
Kale Quinoa Salad Video
Plant-Based Vegan Starter Kits $27
Kale Quinoa Salad
- 3/4 cup dry quinoa
- 1 bunch fresh kale leaves, (or 5 cups chopped kale, slightly packed)
- 1.5 cups shredded broccoli slaw
- 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup edamame beans (optional)
- 1/2 cup mandarin oranges (packed in juice not syrup)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 Tbsp crushed walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup orange juice for massaging kale
- 1/2 tsp salt for massaging kale
Orange Miso Dressing Ingredients
- 1/4 cup orange juice (juice from 2 oranges)
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tsp yellow or white miso
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ginger (grated, minced, or dry ground)
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. This usually takes about 15 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, wash and strip kale. Then tear into bite-sized pieces and place in very large bowl.
- Add the 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 tsp salt to the bowl with kale and begin to massage for 2-3 minutes.
- Once the kale is tender, add other salad ingredients and finished dressing to the large bowl and stir thoroughly, making sure the dressing is mixed throughout. Serve.
Orange Miso Dressing Instructions
- Place all dressing ingredients in medium bowl and whisk together well. Note: I really like to use the jar minced garlic in this recipe because it is milder. Fresh works well too.
Aroma 2-8-Cups Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Kirkland Signature Organic Gluten-Free Quinoa
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151 Total Fat: 1.6g Sodium: 323mg Carbohydrates: 30.6g Fiber: 3.2g Protein: 4.6g