This Winter Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Apple and Quinoa is a delicious dish filled with goodness. Dressed with a lemon & thyme vinaigrette, this is a treat served alone or with your favourite grilled protein.
Healthy Winter Kale Salad
Hands up who else feels the need to eat more greens after the festive season is over?! I don’t follow any specific diets but every January I like to take the time to reassess and really think about what I’m putting in to my body. I’m not doing Veganuary but I am definitely making an effort to eat less meat, eat more (and a bigger variety) of fruits and vegetables and cut down on food waste this year.
This delicious vegan salad is filled with goodness – Cavolo Nero (black kale), pomegranate and apple are not only delicious but are filled with nutrients. It may sound odd to pair kale with fruits but they all come together beautifully. Especially when dressed with this simple lemon & thyme vinaigrette.
Perfect Quinoa for Salad
Quinoa is an excellent addition to any salad. Not only is it a great source of plant-based protein but it is also high in anti-oxidants, fibre and iron.
I will admit, it took me a while to work out the best way to cook quinoa without it getting mushy. Now I follow this recipe for perfect fluffy Quinoa every time.
Lemon and Thyme Vinaigrette
This kale, pomegranate and quinoa salad is dressed perfectly with a simple lemon and thyme vinaigrette. It’s best to use fresh garlic and thyme for this recipe, but you can substitute dried thyme in a pinch, just reduce the quantity to 1 teaspoon.
Tips for the Perfect Kale Salad
- Remove and discard the stalks from the kale leaves. They are edible, but are tough and honestly not very pleasant to eat.
- Massage the kale before adding to the salad. Drizzle with a little oil (I typically use olive oil, but avocado or high quality rapeseed oil are great substitutes) and massage the kale leaves gently with clean hands for 2-3 minutes.
- Allow your cooked quinoa to cool before mixing it with the salad. If it’s still boiling hot it will wilt and soften the other ingredients very quickly. Cooked quinoa can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Dress the salad with the lemon thyme vinaigrette a few tablespoons at a time. You may find you do not need to use all of the dressing.
Kale and Pomegranate Salad FAQ
Yes – if you are making ahead it is best to dress the salad, as the lemon from the vinaigrette will help to stop the apples from browning. This salad can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 days.
I love Jazz apples for this recipe, but any crisp variety with a sweet-sharp flavour will be great. Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are all ideal.
Cavolo Nero is a type of kale, also called Black, Tuscan, Dinosaur or Lacinato Kale. It has dark green leaves and a mild, slightly sweet and nutty flavour.
You can yes, but curly kale has a more bitter flavour and needs to be massaged a bit longer than Cavolo Nero when using in salads.
Yes, but you don’t need to massage it first. Baby kale won’t hold up as long when dressed, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you are preparing this salad ahead of time.
This will easily serve 2 as a main dish. As a side dish, it will serve 4-6.
I love this dish alone as a healthy lunch (it travels very well so perfect for taking to work!) or alongside some grilled chicken or fish for dinner.
Yes – you could leave it out entirely for a healthy side-salad, or substitute cooked wild or brown rice, whole chickpeas, bulgar or cous-cous.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
Looking for more great salad recipes? Try one of these:
- Easy No-Mayo Tuna Salad
- Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing with Chopped Salad
- The BEST Chopped Salad
- Tabbouleh Style Bulgur Salad
Kale and Pomegranate Salad with Apple and Quinoa
- 360 grams cooked quinoa
- 200 grams Cavolo Nero or Lacinato Kale Also Tuscan or Black Kale
- 1 red onion diced
- 80 grams pomegranate arils
- 1 crisp, sweet apple I like Jazz, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady or Golden Delicious
- 1 tsp olive oil for massaging the kale
Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette
- 60 ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh black pepper
- To make the Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette, add all the ingredients to a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake until throughly combined.
- Wash the kale then remove the tough stalks and ribs and shred the leaves to roughly 1-inch pieces. Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and massage the kale gently between your fingers for 2-3 minutes.
- Cut the apple into bite-sized pieces and add to the kale. I leave the skin on but you can peel if you prefer.
- Add the onion, pomegranate and quinoa to the salad and mix well to combine.
- Drizzle over the vinaigrette a little at a time, mixing well in between (you may not wish to use all of the dressing). Feel free to add extra salt and/or pepper to taste.
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