Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mark's Kale Quinoa Avocado Salad

This past winter wasn't the coldest winter we've had in a while but we did get alot of snow in December and February, so we hosted alot of potlucks / play dates at our house because it was just too darned cold to meet at a playground.  Besides, we really enjoy entertaining at our house.  We'd invite three or four other families over, the kids would play while the parents caught up, and then we'd make our way into the kitchen and have an early dinner together.

As the hosts, we served up the main dish (usually made in our trusty crockpot) and ask that everyone else bring their favorite side dish or dessert.  Our friends Mark and Amy always brought one salad or another, and whatever the salad combination, it was always a crowd pleaser.

The last salad they brought was hearty and delicious and I had to have the recipe.  It's almost a kitchen-sink kind of salad, it has so many things in it!  But it really is delicious, and it's a great way to eat the darling-superfood-of-the-moment, kale.

If you try it and really enjoy it, let me know.  I'm thinking about pestering Mark for a couple other salad recipes!

Mark's Kale Quinoa Avocado Salad

Printable Recipe
Servings: 6-8 side salads or 4-6 entree salads (add a protein like roasted chicken!)
Prep time:  30 minutes (not counting time to cook the quinoa, which should be made ahead)

1/2 cup red quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 bunch kale
2 bunches romaine lettuce
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup dates, chopped (or cranberries)
1/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1-2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

For the dressing
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
This will make a whole cup of dressing; depending on how much dressing you like, there may be a bit leftover.

Make the dressing
1. Place lemon juice, white wine vinegar, sugar, and mustard in a small bowl, whisk to combine.
2. Slowly add olive oil to bowl with lemon juice / vinegar mixture, whisking to emulsify.

Make the salad
1.  Cook the red quinoa according to ingredients on box, allow to cool.
2.  Remove kale from ribs, wash and dry.  Chop into small pieces.
3.  Wash and dry romaine lettuce, chop into 1/4-1/2" pieces.
4.  Chop green onions, both green and white parts.
5.  If using dates, rough chop into smaller pieces
6.  Dice avocado, remove from peel.
7.  Combine kale, romaine lettuce, quinoa, avocado, and toss with dressing.  Then add dates/cranberries, almonds, scallions, and toss again. Sprinkle/top with parmesan cheese.


  1. Oh wow, that looks delicious!!! Pinning it now for future reference :)


    1. It is a great tasting salad with awesome textures and not-too-overwhelming flavors (the salad dressing is very "light" in flavor). I like the sweet of the cranberries/dates and the creaminess that the avocado adds. A great alternative to those massaged kale salads that are all the rage right now.


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