This Kale, Quinoa, and Lentil Salad is easy to put together and versatile. You can add any fresh vegetables and herbs that you like. One dish will give you all the nutrients in the kale plus the protein and iron from the quinoa and lentils.
Kale, Quinoa, and Lentil Salad [Vegan]
For the Salad:
- 1-2 cups cooked lentils, black beluga, or green
- 2-3 cups cooked quinoa, red or white or tri-colored
- 1-3 cups (or more) packed fresh kale leaves, spines removed, rinsed, spun and sliced into ribbons
- Fresh herbs of choice: a combination or mix of chopped mint, basil, coriander, parsley, dill leaves or other
- Other chopped/diced vegetable options: onion, celery, cucumber, tomato, red, yellow or green bell pepper.
- Salt and ground pepper, to taste
- 1 garlic clove, pressed (option if you really like garlic!)
- A few pinches of red pepper flakes (option)
For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, or a mix of both
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- A pinch of dried thyme (or another herb)
- Cook the quinoa and lentils according to package. For a large salad, use more dried quinoa and lentils. Should you make more than you need, you can freeze leftover cooked lentils and quinoa and use for a future recipe.
- Make sure to strain any excess water that may be leftover from the cooked lentils. There shouldn’t be any leftover water in both cooked quinoa and lentils.
- Mix the cooked quinoa and lentils together in a medium-size bowl and allow to cool to room temperature on countertop. From time to time, fluff up with a fork to release steam.
- Meanwhile, prepare the kale and all the other veggies and herbs that you want to add to the salad and transfer these into a large salad bowl. Add more for a large salad. Toss well to combine.
- Make the vinaigrette by hand-whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl or by blending them together in a small blender. Transfer the vinaigrette to a glass jar and seal and shake prior to use. This vinaigrette recipe will make more than you need. Leftover can be stored in a sealed glass jar in the fridge
- Transfer the cooled quinoa and lentils into the big salad bowl and toss together with the kale and other ingredients. Add a portion of vinaigrette, just enough to evenly moisten and coat all ingredients. Allow the salad to marinate for at least 30 minutes or more, tossing from time to time.
- Add salt and ground pepper to taste. Adjust by adding a bit more vinaigrette, if need be. Toss well.
- To all garlic lovers, although there’s some garlic in the vinaigrette, go ahead and toss in that extra pressed clove in the salad.
- Serve the salad with the vinaigrette and hot pepper flakes on the side, to add according to individual taste.
- Enjoy as a side dish or main meal with crusty bread and other condiments.
- Leftover salad keeps well in a covered container in fridge for another day or so.