Tag Archives: quinoa

Main Meal Salads

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Travis and I tried a new (to us) restaurant, The Misfit in Santa Monica recently. We had been there for drinks but never for dinner and after hearing rave reviews from numerous friends we finally decided to tough out the hour-long wait and try it out.

Most items on the menu were served tapas style, so we ordered a bunch of things to share (my favorite kind of meal). The item on the menu we were most impressed by was their shredded kale and quinoa salad. It was OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD. We spent a good 20 minutes (you think I’m exaggerating) trying to figure out every ingredient in the salad so that we could try to recreate it at home.

And that’s precisely what we did.

I read somewhere that it can be good to soak kale in water mixed with some sea salt for a few hours. (If you have never tried it, kale is a very tough green, so it can sometimes be hard for your body to break down…the salt water mixture helps with that).

In the end, I think we did a good job detecting all the flavors in the salad. Our version may not have tasted EXACTLY like The Misfit’s, but I’d say it’s pretty darn close.

I’ve made this three times in the last two weeks, so yeah, it’s THAT good.

Look at me being all vegetarian and whatnot!

P.S. Travis ate this with some grilled chicken on top. I think it is totally filling on its own – up to you!


Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 3 large bunches kale, soaked in salt water for a few hours and drained, then chopped or shredded
  • ⅓ cup cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • ⅛ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ bell pepper (any color), chopped
  • 1 cup red grapes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Lemon Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons dijon
  • ½ teaspoon agave
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the lemon vinaigrette to taste.


Main Meal Salads Side Dishes Vegetarian Meals

Citrus Quinoa Salad

Now that I have started a full-time job, Sundays for me are all about food. I spend about hour figuring out what meals I want to make that coming week (both for dinner and to bring for lunch), then probably too much time at the grocery store(s), and a good part of the rest of the day cooking in the kitchen.

I am a big promoter of bringing your own lunch to work. In my opinion you save so much money and it also tends to be a lot healthier.

Recently, I have been hooked on making big batches of grain salads (like this farro salad) on Sunday and then I have it for the rest of the week. This past week I was loving this citrus quinoa salad.

Citrus Quinoa Salad Recipe

The fresh fruit and homemade citrus dressing makes this absolutely delicious. The original recipe called for candied pecans, so I decided to make my own. Sometimes pre-made candied pecans have so much sugar you would forget there was even a pecan inside.

Citrus Quinoa Salad RecipeCitrus Quinoa Salad Recipe

Sometimes I worry that vegetarian meals won’t fill me up, but the quinoa and beans in this salad have enough fiber and protein to keep you going for awhile.

Citrus Quinoa Salad Recipe

I brought this to work for lunch last week over fresh spinach. So yummy!

Citrus Quinoa Salad Recipe



Citrus Quinoa Salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
For the salad:
  • 1 orange, peeled and chopped
  • 1.5 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup black beans, strained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup candied pecans**
For the citrus dressing:
  • (makes more than needed for the quinoa salad)
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tablespoons agave
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Serve on its own or over a lettuce of choice. Dress the salad to taste.
**To make your own candied pecans, heat 1 Tablespoon of butter in a saucepan on low until melted. Add 1 cup of raw, unsalted pecan halves to the pan. Then add 1 teaspoon of sugar and a dash of salt to taste. Stir until the pecans are fully coated and slightly toasted. Make sure to watch them constantly so that they do not burn.

Recipe adapted from: Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body