VEGAN – GLUTEN/WHEAT FREE – SOY FREE
(CONTAINS NUTS – CAN ELIMINATE)
Spring has sprung…Woo-Hoo!! <— Who says that anymore…ME!! 🙂 Although we had a mild winter here in Nashville, I’m ready for some warmer weather, pool days and lots of sunshine. So to get ready for summer I’ll be starting a mini-series…Spring Into Salad! And this recipe is the first post; A Quinoa Kale Fruit Salad with a home-made cran orange balsamic vinaigrette.
Let’s get Summer Ready Together!
Inspiration for the dressing came about a couple weeks ago when my Mother and I went to the Southern Women’s Show. My Mom and I have been going to this convention for 5 years now just to visit one booth: Grapes & Olive Oils On Tap. This amazing couple makes all these naturally infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars, and for the first time I tried their cran orange balsamic vinegar. The burst of sweet & sour flavors in my mouth was incredible. I knew I had to get this and create a salad dressing that would bring a sweet burst to a fruit Spring salad, cause with Spring comes vibrant colors, and when I think of colors, I think of fruits.
Apples, Oranges and Kale, Oh My! Add some Quinoa and you’ve got a dish so delish-ous you won’t want to share. So easy to make and easier to eat. Even though I can eat salad every day, I do need to switch things up and make my salad mix-ins tasty, crunchy & filling. This dish takes the “boring” out of salad; you’ll forget you’re eating something healthy. Aaaaaand speaking of healthy, be sure to read this article on 26 science backed health benefits of kale from HealthyLine Blog.
This salad is great as a side, for lunch or even for dinner…and with Easter coming up, this would be a great addition to your Easter Dinner Table. It brings lots of color and yummy goodness and is super healthy, which we will all need after baskets full of candy.
- 1 cup quinoa, dry
- 2½ cups chopped kale
- 1-2 apples chopped
- 2 mandarin oranges, pieces chopped in half
- ½ cup craisins
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds (additional for garnish)
- ¼ cup olive oil (I used walnut cranberry infused olive oil* - see notes on where to purchase)
- ¼ cup cran orange infused balsamic vinegar* (see notes on where to purchase)
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Combine all ingredients into a bottle with a tight sealing lid and shake until combined. You can make ahead of time and refrigerate so it's nice and cold.
- For the Salad:
- Cook quinoa according to package. Once done, remove from pot and set aside to cool.
- Once all ingredients are chopped & quinoa is chilled, combine in a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over top, stir to combine and serve immediately.