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Strawberry Quinoa Kale Salad Recipe

Welcome to the delicious world of salads that aren’t just an accompaniment but a meal in itself. Our recipe today is a nutritious and refreshing strawberry, quinoa, and kale salad that is bound to tickle your taste buds. This salad is not only rich in nutrients but also a delightful mix of flavors and textures. The sweetness of the strawberries, the nutty flavor of the quinoa, and the crunchy kale come together for a salad that is hard to resist.

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Among our ingredients, quinoa and kale might not be the regular pantry staples in some households. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain known for its high protein content and can usually be found in the grain aisle. As for the kale, it is a type of leafy green that is known for its high nutrient content and can usually be found in the produce section. Remember to look for fresh, vibrant looking kale leaves and plump strawberries.

Ingredients for Strawberry, Quinoa, and Kale Salad

Quinoa: A grain usually found in the grain aisle in supermarkets, rich in protein and fiber.

Kale: A type of leafy green, found fresh in the produce section, known for its high nutrient content.

Sunflower seeds: Small seeds filled with essential nutrients, usually found in the nuts and seeds aisle.

Strawberries: A sweet, tangy fruit that adds a refreshing flavor to the salad. Look for plump, vibrant strawberries.

Balsamic Vinegar: A sweet and tangy vinegar, used in the vinaigrette.

Olive oil: A staple in most kitchens, used in the vinaigrette for its smooth and light flavor.

Salt: Basic seasoning to enhance the flavor of the salad.

Red chili flakes: Adds a mild spicy kick to the vinaigrette. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference.

One reader, Kassi Bunch says:

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This strawberry quinoa and kale salad recipe is a game-changer! The combination of fresh strawberries, hearty quinoa, and nutrient-packed kale is simply divine. The strawberry vinaigrette adds a burst of flavor that ties everything together perfectly. It's a refreshing and satisfying dish that's become a staple in my meal rotation. Highly recommended!

Kassi Bunch

Key Techniques for Making Strawberry Quinoa and Kale Salad

How to toast sunflower seeds: In a small skillet, toast the sunflower seeds on low-medium heat until they are lightly browned, which should take about 2 minutes. Stir frequently and watch closely to avoid burning.

How to make strawberry vinaigrette: In a blender or small food processor, combine the strawberries, water, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and red chili flakes. Process the ingredients until smooth to create the strawberry vinaigrette.

How To Make Strawberry Quinoa Kale Salad

An easy healthy meal that’s packed with protein for a tasty guilt-free dish! Learn how to make this kale salad recipe with strawberries and quinoa.

Preparation:
Cooking:
Total: 10 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Strawberry Kale Salad:

  • 2cupsquinoacooked
  • 5cupskalechopped, stalks removed
  • ½cupsunflower seeds
  • ½cupstrawberrieshulled and sliced

For Strawberry Vinaigrette:

  • 2cupsstrawberriesthawed or fresh
  • 3tbspwater(you could add more or less)
  • 2tbspbalsamic vinegar
  • 2tbspolive oilextra virgin
  • ¼tspsalt
  • tspred chili flakesmore to taste

Instructions

Strawberry Kale Salad:

  1. Add quinoa, kale, sunflower seeds and strawberries to a large salad bowl.

  2. Toast sunflower seeds in a small skillet on low-medium heat until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Stir frequently and watch closely not to burn.

  3. Transfer to a salad bowl.

Strawberry Vinaigrette:

  1. In a blender or small food processor, add strawberry vinaigrette ingredients and process until smooth.

  2. Pour over salad, gently stir and serve.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 302.31kcal
  • Fat: 10.23g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.22g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.94g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.37g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.08g
  • Fiber: 6.05g
  • Sugar: 4.30g
  • Protein: 9.82g
  • Sodium: 107.40mg
  • Calcium: 61.58mg
  • Potassium: 512.92mg
  • Iron: 3.31mg
  • Vitamin A: 68.76µg
  • Vitamin C: 53.32mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfecting This Salad Recipe

When toasting the sunflower seeds, it's important to keep the heat low and stir frequently. This will ensure even toasting and prevent the seeds from burning. Additionally, when blending the strawberry vinaigrette, make sure to blend until completely smooth for a creamy and consistent dressing. If your vinaigrette is too thick, you can add a little more water to achieve the desired consistency.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Salad Recipe

Prep ahead: Cook the quinoa and prepare the vinaigrette in advance to save time when assembling the salad.

Use pre-washed kale: Opt for pre-washed and chopped kale to eliminate the need for washing and chopping, saving valuable time.

Multi-task: While the sunflower seeds are toasting, you can prepare the other ingredients to maximize efficiency.

Organize ingredients: Lay out all the ingredients and tools needed before starting to streamline the cooking process.

Make extra: Consider making extra salad and vinaigrette to have ready-to-eat meals for the next day, saving time on future meal prep.

Efficient chopping: Use a sharp knife and proper chopping techniques to quickly and evenly chop the strawberries and kale.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a rice cooker to cook the quinoa, freeing up stovetop space and reducing active cooking time.

Streamline cleanup: Clean as you go to minimize the time spent on post-cooking cleanup, making the process more efficient.

Substitute Ingredients For Strawberry Quinoa Kale Salad Recipe

  • quinoa - Substitute with bulgur: Bulgur has a similar nutty flavor and chewy texture, making it a suitable substitute for quinoa in this salad.

  • kale - Substitute with spinach: Spinach can be used as a substitute for kale, providing a milder flavor and tender texture in the salad.

  • sunflower seeds - Substitute with pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds offer a similar crunchy texture and nutty flavor, making them a great alternative to sunflower seeds in the salad.

  • strawberries - Substitute with raspberries: Raspberries can be used as a substitute for strawberries, providing a slightly tart and sweet flavor to complement the salad.

  • strawberries - Substitute with blackberries: Blackberries can be a suitable substitute for strawberries, offering a sweet and slightly tart flavor to the salad.

  • strawberries - Substitute with blueberries: Blueberries can be used as a substitute for strawberries, adding a sweet and juicy burst of flavor to the salad.

  • strawberries - Substitute with pomegranate seeds: Pomegranate seeds can be used as a substitute for strawberries, providing a juicy and slightly tart flavor to the salad.

  • balsamic vinegar - Substitute with red wine vinegar: Red wine vinegar can be used as a substitute for balsamic vinegar, offering a tangy and slightly acidic flavor to the vinaigrette.

  • balsamic vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute for balsamic vinegar, providing a slightly sweet and tangy flavor to the vinaigrette.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil can be used as a substitute for olive oil, offering a mild and buttery flavor to the vinaigrette.

  • olive oil - Substitute with grapeseed oil: Grapeseed oil can be used as a substitute for olive oil, providing a neutral flavor and light texture to the vinaigrette.

Presentation Tips for a Stunning Quinoa and Kale Salad

  1. Elevate the salad with a stunning presentation: Arrange the quinoa and kale salad in a beautiful, wide-rimmed bowl, allowing the vibrant colors of the strawberries and kale to pop against the white backdrop.

  2. Incorporate edible flowers for a touch of elegance: Garnish the salad with delicate, colorful edible flowers such as pansies or nasturtiums to add a touch of sophistication and a subtle floral note.

  3. Create a visually appealing quinoa mound: Use a ring mold to create a perfectly shaped mound of quinoa at the center of the plate, then carefully remove the mold to reveal a neat, cylindrical base for the salad.

  4. Artfully drizzle the strawberry vinaigrette: Use a squeeze bottle or a small spoon to drizzle the vibrant strawberry vinaigrette in a graceful, artistic pattern over the salad, adding a burst of flavor and visual appeal.

  5. Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds: Sprinkle the toasted sunflower seeds over the salad just before serving, adding a delightful crunch and a touch of rustic charm to the dish.

  6. Incorporate a touch of greenery: Place a small, carefully selected kale leaf or microgreens on top of the salad as a finishing touch, adding a hint of freshness and a visually appealing element.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Strawberry Quinoa and Kale Salad

  • Large salad bowl: A large bowl used for mixing and serving salads.
  • Small skillet: A small, shallow pan with a long handle, used for toasting seeds and nuts.
  • Blender or small food processor: Used for blending and emulsifying the ingredients for the strawberry vinaigrette.

Storage and Freezing Guidelines for Strawberry Quinoa and Kale Salad

  • This strawberry quinoa and kale salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, for optimal freshness and texture, it's best to consume the salad within 1-2 days of preparation.
  • If you plan to make the salad ahead of time, it's recommended to store the strawberry vinaigrette separately and dress the salad just before serving to prevent the kale from wilting.
  • To maintain the crispness of the sunflower seeds, you can store them separately and add them to the salad just before serving.
  • If you have leftover quinoa, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can be used in other salads or as a side dish for future meals.
  • Freezing the assembled salad is not recommended, as the texture of the kale and strawberries will deteriorate upon thawing. However, you can freeze the cooked quinoa separately for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the quinoa in the refrigerator overnight and use it in the salad when ready to assemble.
  • If you have leftover strawberry vinaigrette, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. Give it a good shake or stir before using it again.

How to Reheat Leftover Quinoa and Kale Salad

  • The best way to reheat leftover strawberry quinoa and kale salad is to separate the salad ingredients from the vinaigrette. This will prevent the salad from becoming soggy and mushy.
  • Place the quinoa, kale, sunflower seeds, and strawberries in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the ingredients are heated through.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the salad ingredients in a skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of water or olive oil to the skillet to prevent the ingredients from sticking. Stir the ingredients occasionally until they are heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
  • While the salad ingredients are reheating, prepare the strawberry vinaigrette. If the vinaigrette has been stored in the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to allow the olive oil to liquefy.
  • Once the salad ingredients are heated through, transfer them to a serving bowl. Drizzle the desired amount of strawberry vinaigrette over the top of the salad and toss gently to combine.
  • If you prefer a cold salad, you can skip the reheating process altogether. Simply remove the salad ingredients from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes to take the chill off. Then, drizzle the strawberry vinaigrette over the top and toss to combine.
  • Leftover strawberry quinoa and kale salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, keep in mind that the kale may become slightly wilted and the strawberries may release some of their juices over time, affecting the texture and flavor of the salad.

Interesting Trivia About Strawberry Quinoa and Kale Salad

Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Is Making Strawberry Quinoa and Kale Salad Cost-Effective?

This strawberry quinoa and kale salad recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. Quinoa and kale are affordable and nutritious ingredients, while strawberries can be found at reasonable prices during their peak season. The addition of sunflower seeds provides a budget-friendly source of healthy fats and crunch. The strawberry vinaigrette can be made with basic pantry staples, further enhancing the affordability of this dish. Overall, this recipe offers a balance of cost-effectiveness and nutritional value, making it a great option for budget-conscious households. Verdict: 9/10. Approximate cost: $12-15.

Is This Strawberry Quinoa Kale Salad Healthy?

The strawberry quinoa and kale salad recipe is a nutritious and well-balanced dish that offers a variety of health benefits. Quinoa is a protein-rich pseudocereal that provides essential amino acids, while kale is a nutrient-dense leafy green packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The addition of sunflower seeds contributes healthy fats and a satisfying crunch. Strawberries not only add natural sweetness but also provide vitamin C and other beneficial compounds. The homemade strawberry vinaigrette is a healthier alternative to store-bought dressings, as it contains no artificial ingredients or added sugars.

To further enhance the nutritional value of this salad, consider the following suggestions:

  • Add a source of lean protein, such as grilled chicken, tofu, or chickpeas, to make the salad more satiating and balanced
  • Incorporate a variety of colorful vegetables, like bell peppers, carrots, or cucumber, to increase the fiber content and provide a wider range of vitamins and minerals
  • Experiment with different types of kale, such as lacinato or red kale, to enjoy varied flavors and textures
  • Swap out the sunflower seeds for other nutrient-dense options, like pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds, or hemp seeds, to diversify the nutrient profile
  • Use a light hand when dressing the salad to avoid overpowering the delicate flavors of the ingredients and to keep the calorie content in check

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Strawberry Salad

The combination of quinoa, kale, and strawberries in this salad creates a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The addition of sunflower seeds provides a satisfying crunch, while the strawberry vinaigrette adds a sweet and tangy finish. This recipe is not only delicious but also packed with nutritious ingredients, making it a perfect choice for a light and refreshing meal. The use of fresh, seasonal produce ensures a burst of vibrant flavors in every bite. Overall, this strawberry quinoa and kale salad is a delightful and healthy addition to any menu.

Enhance Your Strawberry Quinoa Kale Salad Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Asparagus: Toss asparagus in olive oil and minced garlic, then roast until tender and slightly crispy.
Grilled Peach and Halloumi Salad: Grill peach slices and halloumi cheese, then toss with mixed greens and a balsamic vinaigrette for a sweet and savory side dish.
Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries: Coat zucchini sticks in parmesan and breadcrumbs, then bake until golden and crispy for a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional fries.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love This Salad

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl: This hearty and nutritious bowl is packed with roasted vegetables, quinoa, and a flavorful tahini dressing.
Grilled Chicken and Mango Salsa: Juicy grilled chicken topped with a refreshing mango salsa, perfect for a light and satisfying meal.
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup: Indulge in a velvety smooth butternut squash soup, garnished with a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of nutty pumpkin seeds.
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins: These moist and fluffy muffins are studded with sweet bananas and rich chocolate chips, making them a delightful treat for any time of day.

Perfect Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Strawberry Quinoa and Kale Salad

Appetizers:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these delectable bites filled with a savory mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The perfect combination of flavors and textures will leave everyone wanting more.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: These crispy fritters are a delightful way to start any meal. The tender zucchini is mixed with herbs and spices, then fried to golden perfection. Serve with a creamy dipping sauce for an irresistible appetizer.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a homemade apple crisp, with tender baked apples and a crispy oat topping. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.

Why trust this Strawberry Quinoa Kale Salad Recipe:

This recipe is a delightful combination of nutritious and flavorful ingredients. The quinoa provides a hearty base, while the kale adds a dose of green goodness. The strawberries bring a sweet and tangy burst, complemented by the crunchy sunflower seeds. The homemade strawberry vinaigrette ties everything together with its vibrant and refreshing flavors. Trust in the freshness and quality of the ingredients to create a wholesome and delicious dish.

Share your thoughts and experiences with the Strawberry Quinoa Kale Salad Recipe in the Healthy Eating forum section. Join the discussion and let us know if you have any tips or variations to share!
FAQ:
What is the best way to cook quinoa for this salad?
To cook quinoa for this salad, rinse 2 cups of quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, then combine it with 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool before adding it to the salad.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the salad ahead of time. However, I recommend adding the vinaigrette just before serving to keep the salad fresh and crisp.
Can I substitute the kale with another leafy green?
Absolutely! If you're not a fan of kale, you can easily substitute it with spinach, arugula, or mixed greens. Feel free to use your favorite leafy green in this salad.
How long will the vinaigrette keep in the refrigerator?
The vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just give it a good shake before using it to re-emulsify the ingredients.
Can I add other fruits or nuts to this salad?
Yes, you can customize this salad to your liking. Feel free to add other fruits such as blueberries or sliced apples, and you can also incorporate different nuts like almonds or pecans for added flavor and texture.

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