Kale Quinoa Salad is dressed with a lightened-up Sesame Aioli and topped with so many delicious, crunchy toppings that you'll forget just how healthy it is!
It's a sensory delight! Tender baby kale and spinach leaves form the base of this salad. Red quinoa adds a soft, nutty and colorful contrast with the greens and can be added when it's cool or warm. (I'm a fan of warm!)
Spindly carrots, strips of crinkly Napa cabbage, green onions and cashews are mixed throughout for a little crunch in every bite. Add chicken if you aren't enjoying the meatless version.
Top it off with a creamy sesame aioli dressing with a hint of heat from sriracha sauce.
Yummmmmy! Once I have all the ingredients, I eat this for days on end. That's the nice things about hearty kale greens, they hold up well for days, even with dressing. We do this all the time when we make Massaged Kale Salad.
I fell in love with this salad at Nature's Table and came straight home and made my own version. I love doing this! (Some of my previous projects include Alice Springs Chicken and Bang Bang Shrimp.) I try to take a favorite and make it a bit healthier.
But, you don't need to make any changes to this Kale Quinoa Salad, except for a few adjustments to the dressing.
Kale Quinoa Salad Tips and Tricks
I usually enjoy white quinoa and immediately questioned what the difference is between the red and white varieties. It turns out there are hundreds of colors including black which you can sometimes find in the grocery store. Based upon this article over at the Kitchn, there is little difference between the taste and cooking method for the various colors, except that you might find a very subtle difference in the texture with red being just a little heartier.
Isn't the contrast in colors delightful?! Make a big batch of red quinoa, more than you need for this salad, store it in the refrigerator and scoop it out for salads and other dishes throughout the week. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze it! Yes indeed. It freezes beautifully.
Add diced, cooked chicken for an extra protein boost. Or, leave it off for a meatless version. Quinoa is naturally high in protein and the nuts add some protein too.
The salad is dressed with a creamy sesame aioli that's been lightened-up by replacing some of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. Add sriracha for some heat. It's not spicy at all if you leave out this ingredient. Another dressing that is delicious with this salad and is oil and vinegar based can be found with Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad.
Kale Quinoa Salad with Sesame Aioli
- 5 ounce bag of baby kale and/or baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa cook according to package instructions
- 1 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage
- 1 cup julienned carrot sticks
- ½ cup sliced green onion
- ½ cup chopped cashews or almonds
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken (leave off for meatless version)
- 2 Tablespoons low-fat olive oil based mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sriracha sauce
- Divide salad ingredients between 2 plates
- Combine Sesame Aioli ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
- Drizzle Sesame Aioli over salad and enjoy!
Other quinoa salads you might enjoy:
Spinach and Lemon Quinoa Salad by A Mindful Mom
Tomato and Black Bean Salad by Taste and Tell
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