Kale and Red Quinoa Salad

Kale and Red Quinoa Salad

New England is gorgeous this time of year.

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We were there to celebrate my widowed little sisters (a small – but mighty woman she is) marriage who reunited with her college sweetheart.

She had big bro walk her down the aisle.  Pretty bride, huh?

She had big bro walk her down the aisle. Pretty bride, huh?

The wedding took place in Stowe, VT.

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An intimate group of their family and fans gathered together, including all of my sibs and their spouses.  The ceremony and reception reflected a cozy New England charm but most importantly the elated couples committment to each other and their uniting families.  It was entirely a very sweet occasion.

Exploring the Vermont area was a bonus, booming with galleries, antique stores and country roadside produce stands. The quaint city of Burlington, VT was our very favorite.  In spite of the chilly fall air, restaurants opened their windows and doors to provide outside seating.

Kale and Red Quinoa Salad

Local artisans selling their unique handmade functional art is a welcome sight.

Kale and Red Quinoa Salad

And the food….was delicious and inspirational.  I am excited to be back in my own kitchen to create.

Kale and Red Quinoa Salad

This salad was one served to me during our travels and I loved it so much that I had to try it at home.  Seeing this offering on the menu, in my mind I pictured a quinoa salad dotted with bits of kale.  The plate of mounded greens set before me, with small sprinkling of red quinoa, was a nice surprise.  They topped it with shaved parmesan cheese and a piece of grilled salmon to complete the meal.  I savored every bite trying to distinguish the subtler flavors in the tart dressing.

Kale and Red Quinoa Salad

We had a reunion dinner the day after our return with our in town family.  Not only did we miss them but I couldn’t wait to make this.  I served this Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sunday Dinner Roasted Chicken, Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Oil, and a Burdock Root Carrot Saute.  Side note: the burdock root is a product of this years garden and I regret we didn’t plant more. Digging it up always the challenge, so I’m sure my husband has no regrets at all.

Kale and Red Quinoa Salad

Curly kale is best suited for this salad because it’s leaf is less tough than lacinato (or dinosaur) kale.  The curls in its leaf hold dressing better too, giving the salad more flavor.  The combo of half romaine and half kale give this salad great crunch and substance, making it an excellent choice as a main dish salad with our without a slab of something grilled on top.  For a complete vegan meal add 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans.

Kale and Red Quinoa Salad

So here’s the recipe.  It’s great for fall and you might even substitute dried cranberries as the holiday season sets in.  Please give me feedback.  I love feedback for myself and my readers ♥



4 cups (packed) curly kale, tough stems removed, cut in bite-size pieces

4 cups romaine lettuce cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup cooked red quinoa, cooled

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

1/4 – 1/2 cup golden raisins

a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan cheese, optional


1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/4 cup organic cold pressed canola oil

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl combine the kale and the romaine greens.  Add the cooked and cooled quinoa, almonds and raisins.

Combine the lemon rind and juice, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, parsley and tarragon in a mason quart jar with a lid.  Add the oils and 1/2  teaspoon sea salt and a pinch of white pepper.  Screw on the lid and shake away. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Toss dressing and salad right before serving. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan, if using.


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