Kale, quinoa and apple salad is the perfect Fall salad
Those of you who grew up in Greek households would probably not be surprised to learn that quinoa didn’t feature prominently (at all) in our childhood diets. In fact, it was only while in university, exposed to so much, that we learned of this ancient Incan food. That was long before the United Nations declared 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa”. One of us was exploring a downtown health food store, an activity which felt other-worldly. At that time, natural health food stores and organic food was something that only the most eclectic concerned themselves with. We were by no means eclectic. We were simply curious, fascinated, and hungry.
That not-so-little health food store (called Optimum, for those of you who also frequented the McGill ghetto and surroundings) opened our eyes to so much. Tofu, nori, millet and sprouted everything. We would buy ingredients we hardly knew what to do with, and then search for cookbooks that would guide us in their preparation. When that failed, we asked around. This was before google, before Food Network, and certainly before food blogs such as ours. We got our information in the dusty corner of the library, from people we met in the store, and from the guy playing his Tam Tam on Mount Royal on Sunday afternoons.
Just as our parents’ moussaka and their rizogalo conjure up happy memories of a childhood centered on family, tradition and love, quinoa evokes its own nostalgia. This tiny, nutty-flavoured seed reminds us of a time when our world was brimming with possibilities. We were teetering on the brink of adulthood, yet still filled with adolescent excitement, awe and curiosity. If a grocery store could hold so much wonder, so much which was new and unexplored, it was incredible to imagine what else awaited us, in the whole wild world!
How to make our kale, quinoa and apple salad.
Choose your kale.
There are several varieties of kale available, including the curly kale we use in this recipe. We find that the curly kale works really well in this salad; its curly leaves hold the vinaigrette and the quinoa. You can find both green curly kale, and red curly kale. The flavours are pretty similar, so it just depends on what is available.
As you can see in the photo above, we grow curly kale in our garden, as well as the flat-leaf Tuscan kale; this one is perfect for making kale chips! You can certainly use a combination of kale in your salad. It will all be delicious!
There are different varieties of quinoa you can use in your kale, quinoa and apple salad.
Did you know that there are several different varieties of quinoa? There is white, red, a mixture of the two and even black quinoa. There may even be more, but those are the ones we are familiar with! We have made our kale, quinoa and apple salad with both the white and the red quinoa – both are delicious. You can learn more about the different varieties of quinoa by reading this neat article.
Looking for more wonderful salad recipes? Here you go:
We love hearing from you! If you have made our recipes, or if you have a question or comment, or simply want to say Hi!, please leave a comment below!
Kale, quinoa and apple salad
- 8 cups chopped curly kale, or another variety of kale washed and dried
- ½ tsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup quinoa rinsed well
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- juice of half a lime
For the vinaigrette
- ½ cup (125 mL) olive oil
- ¼ cup (60 mL) apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
For the vinaigrette
- Combine all the ingredients in a jar, fasten the lid and shake until well combined. Alternatively, add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until well combined.½ cup (125 mL) olive oil, ¼ cup (60 mL) apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste
For the salad
- Chop your apples into dice. Place them in a bowl and cover them with water. Add the lime juice and stir. This will keep your apples from discolouring.juice of half a lime, 2 Granny Smith apples
- Cook quinoa by bringing ⅔ cups water to a boil. Add quinoa to the boiling water, reduce heat to simmer. Cover pan and cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid and is cooked through, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.⅓ cup quinoa
- Place your kale in a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil. Using your fingers, rub the olive oil into the kale leaves. This will help soften the kale. If you kale is very tender you can omit this step.8 cups chopped curly kale, or another variety of kale, ½ tsp olive oil
- Drain your apples and then add the apples and the cooked quinoa to your kale.
- Add as much of the vinaigrette as you desire and toss to coat. Leftover vinaigrette can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.