Monday, March 19, 2012

Kale and quinoa salad

You've probably heard of these two foods as the new cool thing to eat. Everybody talks about or eats kale these days, and quinoa is also something that has become more and more popular over the last couple of years. Yet I keep hearing the same question about both ingredients: but how do you cook it?

I've also heard comments such as "it's too chewy raw, too bitter cooked" or "it tastes like dirt" or "it's too bland". Kale and quinoa being two of my most favorite foods to eat, I am excited to share this simple recipe, which I one day randomly put together. I liked it so much that I decided to make it again and again.

The quantities for the salad ingredients can be changed, as in, you can add more or put less of any of the ingredients, but this will give you a basic idea. For the dressing, you can replace the limes with lemons, though you might want to taste and see if it is not too sour for your taste, or you can use a simple balsamic vinaigrette as well.

I usually have kale in the fridge for my morning smoothies, and I have plenty of quinoa in the pantry. At the beginning of the week, I often cook a bag of quinoa and keep in the fridge to use as a side or throw in a salad. Quinoa is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal or grain. It was once called "the gold of the Incas". Quinoa grains are high in protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, which means it's a complete protein, just like meat or dairy. I won't bore you here with the details of the health benefits of quinoa, but if you are interested in knowing more, you can find that  here.

When you cook quinoa, make sure that you rinse it under water, over a sift, by squeezing the grains through your hands, so that the saponins, which is a sour substance around the grain, gets released. Then you can cook it like rice: one cup of water per cup of quinoa, a pinch of salt, 15 minutes on the stove and voila!


1 bunch kale, chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 avocados, cubed
1 green apple, cubed
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds


3 limes, juiced
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp agave or maple syrup
1/2tsp of salt
pepper to taste

Mix the dressing in a bowl and pour 3/4 of it onto the kale in a big salad bowl. Then, massage the kale with the dressing, between the fingers, until all the leaves are covered in dressing and become softer (15-30 seconds). Then add the rest of the ingredients and the dressing, and mix together. The salad will be softer if you let it sit for about 20 minutes before eating, and it keeps very well in the fridge until the next day.

En francais: 
un chou frise (kale ne se trouve pas en Suisse)
2 tasses de quinoa cuite
2 avocats, coupes en cubes
1 pomme granny-smith, coupee en cubes
1/2 tasse de raisins secs
1/4 tasse de graines de courges crues

Sauce: le jus de trois citrons verts, 2 cs d'huile d'olive, 1 cs de sirop d'erable ou d'agave, 1/2 cc de sel, poivre selon gout.

Verser la sauce a salade sur les feuilles de chou et masser entre les doigts jusqu'a ce que les feuilles de ramolissent. Ajouter le reste des ingredients et melanger.

Bon Appetit!


  1. ALEXINE! This looks WONDERFUL! I have started eating quinoa lately because my toddler loves it. But Kale has been OUT OF THE QUESTION because it's so bitter. But I will give it another try. Because I love you :)

    1. Erin, my kids wine and gripe about kale in salad, but hubby and I love it, and most of my friends, who are not used to eating it like that, have loved that salad or other ones I've made with kale. I have so many ideas of blog posts for kale, I can hardly wait, but I need to pace myself :) I usually also sneak it in popsicles for the kids ;)

  2. Looks delish!!! I will definitely be making this! I love kale in smoothies too! Especially for Audra. I just ran across a baby cereal recipe with quinoa in it too! I love that you have started this blog! :)

    1. Thank you Jamie :) I'd love to hear what you put in your green smoothie! I think my next post is going to be about green smoothies so stay tuned!

  3. Beautiful job, Alexine! It's so hard to summarize the wealth of nutrition information out there & you're doing a fabulous job. Love seeing your voice & words!