So freakin’ good is the best way to describe this refreshing kale, quinoa, and pomegranate salad. Mandarin oranges, pomegranate seeds, and tangy lemon vinaigrette make for a perfect summer salad. Hearty lacinato kale and protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas make this salad a satisfying plant-based meal. Lastly, a hint of mint marries the flavors from each ingredient. Try adding roasted chicken or grilled fish if you prefer extra protein or need additional calories.
The salad ingredients provide a variety of nutrients such as protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants making this dish truly nutritious. Kids will love the tangy sweet pomegranate seeds and the mandarin oranges give the perfect amount of sweetness to mask the bitterness you sometimes get from kale. Oh, and did I mention the pistachios? They give the right amount of crunch and texture to this salad making you want more.
You have to try this salad! It is fun, sexy, and oh so pretty. In addition, it is super healthy. Pretty, healthy, delicious! What more could you want from a salad? Consider serving this dish at your next BBQ or dinner party.
The Kale, Quinoa, and Pomegranate Salad is even better the next day as the flavors develop and the lemon vinaigrette soaks into the kale and quinoa. This recipe originated from FoodieCrush however I have modified it a bit. You can check out the original recipe here. Either way you make it, you will find the Kale, Quinoa, and Pomegranate Salad to be a perfect summer-time meal.
Try it out and let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Kale, Quinoa, and Pomegranate Salad
- 3 cups Lacinato Kale Ribs removed and cut into ribbons
- 2 cups cooked Quinoa
- 15 ounces mandarin oranges drained
- 15 ounces chickpeas drained
- 1/3 cup roasted pistachios
- 1/3-1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup champagne vinegar or a citrus infused vinegar
- 1/2-2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4-1/2 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed is best
- 1/4-1/2 cup fresh mint for the salad
- 3-4 mint leaves for the dressing
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the Kale
- Squeeze juice of one lemon over the kale and massage into the leaves.
- Set aside and allow the kale to absorb the lemon juice while you prepare the dressing and the salad.
For the Dressing
- Add vinegar, minced garlic, 3-4 mint leaves, raw honey, salt and pepper to taste. Pulse with a hand blender, or food processor, slowly drizzling in olive oil. Taste and adjust ingredients as necessary.
Cook the Quinoa
- Cook the quinoa per the package instructions. Typically it is two cups of water to one cup of quinoa. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
Build the Salad
- Add kale, quinoa, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and mandarin oranges to a bowl.
- Add dressing and mix salad well. Serve and enjoy!
- I like to let this salad sit for at least an hour before serving. This allows the kale to soak up the dressing and lemon juice.
- Try making the quinoa with vegetable or chicken stock in place of water. This provides more flavor to the dish. I like Kitchen Basics with no added salt