This week's recipe for Kale & Apple Salad with Quinoa Crisps is anything but your boring old salad. Kale leaves are massaged with my favorite homemade fall dressing made with cinnamon and apple cider vinegar. The kale is tossed with crisp apples, pumpkin seeds, pecans, feta cheese (either plant-based or regular) and crunchy, nutty quinoa crisps. They're a fun and interesting way to add texture to salads, soups, yogurts, cereals, oatmeal or anywhere you want some crunch.
How To Make Quinoa Crisps
Making quinoa crisps is super easy and can be made ahead of time, so you have them ready and waiting for you.
First you need to cook the quinoa as you normally would. If you're not familiar with how to cook quinoa, it's similar to making rice. Basically use a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water (for example, one cup quinoa and 2 cups water). Once the water is completely evaporated and the quinoa seeds have opened, you know it's done.
Next, you'll need to spread the quinoa out on a baking sheet with a little bit of coconut oil. You can also use olive oil if you prefer.
Lastly, bake the quinoa in the oven at 350° F until crispy (about 10-12 minutes), stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
The crisps can be stored in an airtight bag for about a week. So simple!
Making the Kale & Apple Salad
The biggest mistake people make when assembling a salad with kale, is that they don't massage the leaves with dressing. Kale can be tough and the leaves need to be coated with some of the dressing to soften them up. This also helps the leaves absorb flavor. It's an extra step, but makes all the difference.
You can use any type of apple that you like in this salad. I like the sweet, tart flavor of a honeycrisp apple, but that is just my preference.
My favorite toppings for fall salads include cranberries, tart cherries, pecans, walnuts and of course pumpkin or sunflower seeds. So any combination of these go really well in this kale salad. The quinoa crisps give an added dimension of texture and nutty flavor that I think you will really enjoy. To counter the crunch, I add a little feta cheese (either regular or vegan) depending on my mood. Either way, this Kale and Apple Salad with Quinoa Crisps is super yummy!
I love to top this salad with my favorite fall dressing and you can get the recipe HERE!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a bowl, toss the quinoa with the oil.
- Spread quinoa out evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until crisp, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning.
Kale & Apple Salad with Quinoa Crisps
- 8 cups kale I used pre packaged kale (any variety will work)
- 2 apples any variety, sliced thin
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ⅓ cup quinoa crisps
- 2 oz feta cheese vegan or regular
- Favorite Fall Dressing see link to recipe above
- In a large bowl, add the kale and with clean hands, massage with a few tablespoons of the dressing.
- Add toppings and desired amount of dressing.