Kale Quinoa Salad with Blueberries
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This Kale Quinoa Salad packs a nutritional punch! Quinoa, blueberries, and avocado bring lots of flavor to this healthy make ahead lunch.
I am vowing once again to make lunchtime more interesting. When it comes to healthy dinners, I have tons of favorite easy recipes to rely on. I’m also always sure to make a healthy breakfast, usually either overnight oats, eggs and toast, or these Lemon Greek Yogurt Pancakes.
But when it comes to lunch, I never quite have a plan and we usually end up eating a sandwich or quesadilla. I thought about my No Mayo Broccoli Salad or Tabouli. That makes a great summer side dish but is a little overwhelming with broccoli for a main dish for lunch. Some days (like today) I plan ahead and chop some veggies to eat with our favorite white bean dip, but more often than I care to admit I eat a boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.
The key, I’ve discovered, is to prep make ahead lunches that we can then enjoy throughout the week. The middle of the day is a super busy time when I’m at home with the kids, so lunch has to come together FAST. On work and school days, the best options are those that are ready to grab and go, like leftovers or make ahead salads.
You can make the quinoa ahead of time by following my How to Cook Quinoa guide.
Last week was my first week of summer break from teaching, so I promised myself I was going to get creative in the kitchen and make us a salad that Brad and I could enjoy for a few days’ worth of lunches. I knew I wanted it to have quinoa and blueberries in it. Then I decided it had to have avocado. And almonds. We had lots of kale washed and ready to go in our refrigerator since I had just recorded the video for how to wash kale. The salad was already packed with superfoods, and healthy kale was the perfect thing to power it up even more!
You don’t see them in the pictures, but I also added chickpeas to this kale quinoa salad because I wanted to bulk it up with even more protein. The quinoa provides a good amount of protein as well. I’m listing the chickpeas as optional in the ingredient list, as this salad is delicious both with and without them.
You can make this Kale Quinoa Salad with Blueberries ahead of time for grab and go work lunches. I recommend waiting to add the avocado and almonds right before serving, to keep the avocado fresh and the almonds crunchy.
Why we love this kale quinoa salad:
- This kale quinoa salad is loaded with healthy ingredients! Kale is low in calories, high in fiber, and has nearly 3 grams of protein per cup. Blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants among all foods. Quinoa is naturally gluten free and a good source of protein and fiber.
- With all of the flavors and textures going on here, this salad is anything but boring! We especially love the creamy goat cheese with the quinoa and kale!
- It lasts in the refrigerator for 3 days, so you can make a big batch for a few days’ worth of lunches.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 large bunch (about 6 cups) kale, tough stems removed and chopped (see my easy method for prepping kale!)
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional)
- 1 cup blueberries
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- a bit of black pepper
- Rinse and drain the quinoa. Place quinoa and 2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the kale and, using your hands, toss it with the dressing.
- Once the quinoa is cool, add it to the bowl with the kale, along with the chickpeas (if using), blueberries, goat cheese, almonds, and avocado. Toss gently to combine. Serve.
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