Massaged Kale & Quinoa Salad


by London Baker, RD, LDN

Massaging the kale helps to break down the fibrous tissue which helps give the kale a delicate mouth feel. Add grilled chicken or fish to the salad for extra protein!


For the Salad

  • 2 cup quinoa, dry
  • 8 cups, dark green kale
  • 1 cup red, seedless grapes
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbs pecorino Romano cheese, shredded

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 4 tbs Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2. Place a medium sauce pot over medium heat, add 4 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Rinse 2 cups of quinoa thoroughly until soapy residue no longer appears. Add the quinoa to the pot.
  4. Cover and cook on medium/low heat for 15-20 minutes or until all of the water has dissipated. After 15-20 minutes, remove the pot from heat and keep the lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork when finished. Remove the quinoa from the pot and allow it to cool, about 10 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette.
  6. Remove the fibrous ribs from the kale and massage the leaves in your hands until they become tender and slightly dark.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, 2 cups of cooked quinoa, red grape halves, and raw sunflower seeds. Stir to thoroughly mix.
  8. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat everything evenly. Top with pecorino Romano cheese and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

Servings: 4 | Serving Size: 2 cups of mixed salad

Per serving:

  • Cal: 548
  • Total Fat: 36g
  • Carbs: 42g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Sodium: 280mg