Massaged chopped kale salad with rainbow quinoa, walnuts, honey goat cheese, blood oranges and mint topped with a tangy blood orange vinaigrette. A refreshing, delicious salad brimming with nutrition.
You guys. How photogenic are these oranges? I’m actually quite envious. I’m convinced that blood orange season is the universe’s way of allowing us to eat beautiful salads and stunning cocktails. Yes, I did turn these oranges into margaritas too.
These beauties are peeled, sliced and blanketed over the salad like pretty jewels. Other must-haves for this chopped salad: honey goat cheese, walnuts (or any nut you have on hand), fresh MINT (so much love) and quinoa to up the protein factor.
Let’s also talk about the nutritional profile of this salad because it may be thee healthiest, most well-balanced salad i’ve ever made. Between the kale and oranges, this salad will give you a MEGA dose of Vitamin C. The kale is also packed with Vitamin A and is an excellent source of potassium, fiber and folate. The walnuts are a rich source of health benefiting omega-3 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants.
And the quinoa? Aka my favorite grain (which is abundantly obvious when perusing my recipe archives) has its own slew of health benefits:
- Plant-based complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the body
- Contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat omega-9, and polyunsaturated fat omega-3
- Contains antioxidant phytonutrients called flavonoids
- Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals
- Contains both soluble and insoluble fiber
The salad is topped with a blood orange vinaigrette that is equally tangy, sweet and savory. Fresh squeezed blood orange juice is mixed with olive oil, honey, white balsamic vinegar and a touch of spice. It perfectly compliments the sweet goat cheese and sharp kale. The sweetness is also slightly countered by the refreshing mint leaves.
Combine the mint and blood orange juice and the next cocktail on our list, by default, is a mojitoooo!
Thank God Florida decided it was going already going to feel like summer so we can enjoy them poolside. Your invite is already in the mail.
Try this beautiful, tasty salad as a make-ahead lunch during the week. It is satisfying enough for a meal, yet light enough to pair with dinner or lunch entrees. Your health and palette will thank you!
Kale, Quinoa and Walnut Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
- 5 cups fresh kale
- 4-5 blood oranges, depending on size — two for the salad, 2-3 for the vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa – I used rainbow quinoa
- 2/3 cup vegetable broth for cooking quinoa — may sub for water
- 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 ounce honey goat cheese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil — one for the vinaigrette, one for massaging the kale
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- one bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in medium pot and bring to a boil. When the broth reaches a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed. This will take 12-15 minutes. You will notice that the quinoa becomes sort of translucent and you can “fluff” it with a fork. Set aside.
- In the meantime, de-stem the kale leaves and combine them with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Take bunches of kale pieces in both hands, rub them together and repeat for ~5 minutes. You’ll notice a visible change; the leaves will darken, shrink in size and become softer in texture. Place massaged kale on cutting board and roughly chop into bite-sized pieces. Arrange kale on a serving platter.
- Peel two of the blood oranges and slice them into circular pieces. Top bed of kale with orange slices, chopped walnuts, cooled quinoa and crumbled goat cheese.
- To make the vinaigrette, squeeze 2-3 blood oranges to get ~1/4 cup juice. Combine with 1 tbsp olive oil, balsamic, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk to emulsify all ingredients. Pour over salad.
- Top with chopped mint leaves and serve!
Nutrition Facts per Serving (1/4th of entire recipe)
Calories: 275; Total Fat: 13.5 gm; Saturated Fat: 2 gm; Cholesterol: <5 mg; Sodium: ~200 mg; Carbohydrates: 30 gm; Fiber: 4 gm; Sugar: 9.5 gm; Protein: 7.5 gm