Apple Kale Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Turmeric Dressing
Apple Kale Quinoa Salad with Pumpkin Turmeric Dressing – An easy, healthy, and nutritious fall salad, ready in 30 minutes!
This fall salad combines so many amazing flavors and textures! Caramelized pecans, crispy apples, nutty quinoa, tangy pomegranate, and hearty kale are tossed together in an insanely delicious pumpkin turmeric dressing.
You start by cooking the quinoa. In the meantime you caramelize the pecans in the oven, massage the kale, and get the rest of the ingredients ready. Then, just toss everything together in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing, and, within 30 minutes or less, you can enjoy this wonderful salad.
Kale can be tough and bitter. By massaging the leaves with olive oil, you can bring out their sweetness, and make it more tender and digestible. Also, don’t forget to rinse the quinoa before cooking to get rid of the bitterness.
The dressing is super easy to make — just add pumpkin puree, low fat Greek yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, turmeric powder, water, pepper, and salt in a blender, and combine. It’s creamy and pairs beautifully with all the ingredients. The dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
You can easily customize this salad with ingredients you have on hand. Replace the kale with spinach, arugula or other greens; pecans with walnuts; tricolor quinoa with white quinoa or brown rice. Pink lady apples are sweet and crisp – feel free to replace them with the variety you prefer.
Baked sweet potatoes are also awesome in this salad, and if you’d like more protein, add some grilled chicken.
You can prepare the apple kale quinoa salad ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days. Tossing the apples in a little bit of lemon juice will keep them from browning.
Give this simple, seasonal recipe a try and let me know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to take a picture and share it on my Facebook page or tag it #aseasyasapplepie on Instagram! I love seeing what you come up with!
Apple Kale Quinoa Salad
For the apple kale quinoa salad:
- 1 cup (190 g) tricolor dry quinoa
- 2 cups (480 g) water
- 2 cups (120 g) chopped kale leaves
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 apples cored and thinly sliced (I used pink lady apples)
- 1 pomegranate arils only
For the maple cinnamon pecans:
- ⅓ cup (30 g) pecans
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- a pinch of salt
For the pumpkin turmeric dressing:
- ¼ cup (55 g) unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons low fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse the quinoa and drain. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with water and bring to a boil, uncovered.
- When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed, and the quinoa is light and fluffy.
- Remove the quinoa from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Put the chopped kale in a medium bowl with ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Use your hands to massage the leaves by lightly scrunching them in your hands. Release and repeat until the leaves soften and the color changes a bit.
- Toss the pecans with maple syrup, cinnamon powder, and salt. Spread the nuts on a lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) for 15 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Pumpkin turmeric dressing
- In a blender combine all the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. If you would like a thinner consistency, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa, kale, and apples, and gently toss to combine.
- Top the apple kale quinoa salad with pecans and pomegranate arils, and drizzle with pumpkin turmeric dressing.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- *If you are not eating the salad right away, toss the apples in a little bit of lemon juice.