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Apple Kale Quinoa Salad

As we approach fall this Apple Kale Quinoa Salad is the perfect way to celebrate the cooler weather! Healthy greens like kale and spinach and mixed with sweet apples, crunchy almonds, red onion and quinoa. The dressing is a sweet maple dijon and adds a sweet subtle flavor to the salad. This salad is an easy one to make and comes together in under 15 minutes.

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad with wooden spoons.

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APPLE KALE QUINOA SALAD

Quinoa is a nice grain to add to salads and this Apple Kale Quinoa Salad is no exception.

It is gluten-free and adds nutrition to this side dish.

Today’s salad is the perfect fall salad mixing together kale, spinach, sweet apples, red onion, quinoa, celery and fresh herbs mixed with a light maple dressing. 

Growing up I developed a love for all kinds of salads. My mom made salads with almost every meal we ate. 

Now that I am older I find myself wanting to mix up salads each day so I don’t get bored. 

In the fall I often rotate between this Apple Kale Quinoa Salad, Easy Fall Salad, Roasted Vegetable Salad, Waldorf Salad Recipe, Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad and this Brussels Sprout Apple Goat Cheese Salad

I like to serve this salad alongside our weeknight meals but it also works nicely at the holiday for Thanksgiving or Christmas or a fall gathering.  

The featured ingredients of this recipe are a frozen quinoa that creates an easy shortcut. Quinoa is such a great option for meals as it is nutritionally dense, extremely easy to prepare and very versatile.

It also uses kale, fresh spinach, sweet apples, quinoa, red onion, almonds and Heinen’s pure organic maple syrup to create a delicious cooler weather salad. 

Raw kale salads are my favorite whether it is this Apple Kale Quinoa Salad, Kale Caesar Salad, Kale Cucumber Tabbouleh, Tropical Kale Quinoa Salad, Kale Couscous Pomegranate Salad or this Avocado Kale Spinach Salad.

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad in a glass bowl.

INGREDIENTS IN THIS RECIPE

QUINOA: You can use any type of quinoa you would like from red quinoa to white to black quinoa. A nice shortcut is to buy frozen or precooked quinoa to save time. Otherwise you can just cook the quinoa according to the package and let it cool off before adding it to the salad. 

KALE: I love adding kale to salads because it adds texture and nutrition to the salad. I always try to massage the kale before adding it to salads like in this Massaged Kale Salad. I find it to be the best way to create tender kale. You can use curly kale, Lacinato kale, baby kale, tuscan kale or dinosaur kale.

OLIVE OIL: I use extra virgin olive oil to massage the kale in this salad and create a more tender piece of kale. You can skip this step but I think it really helps for those that think kale can be tough to eat. You could also use avocado oil or sesame oil.

SPINACH: I added spinach along with the kale to the salad. You could also add in romaine or a mixed greens blend. 

ALMONDS: Sliced almonds adds crunch and flavor to this salad. I love adding crunchy nuts to salad but you can skip this if you want. 

APPLES: Apple season is almost here and adding sweet apples to salads is one of my favorite things to do in fall. You can use any variety of apples but I especially love granny smith, gala, pink lady and honey crisp. 

RED ONION: Red onion adds crunchy and flavor to the salad but can be skipped or use sweet onion. Another option is to use pickled red onions.

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad ingredients.

FOR THE DRESSING:

OLIVE OIL

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

MAPLE SYRUP

DIJON MUSTARD

LEMON JUICE

OREGANO

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad in a white bowl.

WAYS TO MODIFY THIS QUINOA SALAD 

NUTS AND SEEDS: I used sliced almonds in this salad but I also love using pine nuts, pecans, walnuts or sunflower seeds.

CHEESE: This salad does not use cheese but I think it would be a great addition. Try goat cheese, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese.

FRESH FRUIT: The sweet apples are great in this quinoa salad but other fruit works nicely too. I also enjoy sliced pear, oranges or pomegranate seeds.

VEGETABLES: Fresh vegetables are a nice addition to this salad. You could add carrots, radish, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms, squash or broccoli.

FRESH HERBS: I think that herbs take salads to the next level like fresh parsley, basil or mint. 

GRAINS: Quinoa works nicely in this salad but you could also use bulgur wheat, brown rice, farro or wheat berries.

BEANS: I often add beans for added protein. I think that white beans or chickpeas would work best in this salad. 

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad with wooden serving spoons.

HOW TO MAKE THIS KALE QUINOA SALAD:

COOK THE QUINOA: Cook the quinoa according to the package and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine kale and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

MASSAGE THE KALE: Use your hands to massage the chopped kale until it becomes soft, about 2 minutes.

Put the kale into a large salad bowl and add in the spinach, almonds, apples and red onion and gently toss.

Add the quinoa and toss to combine.

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad ingredients in a bowl.

MAKE THE DRESSING: To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper in a mason jar or small bowl. 

Pour the dressing on top and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container. 

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad ingredients in a bowl.  

OTHER QUIONA RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

GREEK QUINOA BOWL

TOMATO CUCUMBER FETA QUINOA SALAD 

GREEK QUINOA SALAD 

MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD 

ZUCCHINI CHICKPEA QUINOA SALAD 

AVOCADO KALE QUINOA SALAD 

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad with logo.

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad with wooden spoons.

Apple Kale Quinoa Salad

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

As we approach fall this Apple Kale Quinoa Salad is the perfect way to celebrate the cooler weather! Healthy greens like kale and spinach and mixed with sweet apples, crunchy almonds, red onion and quinoa. The dressing is a sweet maple dijon and adds a sweet subtle flavor to the salad. This salad is an easy one to make and comes together in under 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 - 4.2 oz package of pre-cooked quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup kale, chopped and massaged with olive oil
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 cups spinach roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups diced apples
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tsps Heinen's maple syrup
  • 2 tsps dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Instructions

    1. Cook the quinoa according to the package and let cool.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl put the kale and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
    3. Use your hands to massage the kale until it becomes soft, about 2 minutes.
    4. Put the kale into a large salad bowl and add in the spinach, almonds, apples and red onion and gently toss.
    5. Add the quinoa and toss to combine.
    6. To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.
    7. Pour the dressing on top and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately
Today’s post is sponsored by Heinen’s. As always, opinions are 100% my own. 

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