Wilted Kale & Quinoa Salad With Avocado Basil Dressing

This is one of my favorite salad recipes. It's gluten-free, vegetarian (if using vegetable stock), and full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and healthy fats. This salad is sure to keep you feeling energized all afternoon long. I make this salad, keep it in my fridge and happily eat it throughout the week.

Wilted Kale and Quinoa Salad with Avocado Basil Dressing

Ingredients for Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large bunch kale (about 6 cups packed), rough stems removed, rinsed, dried and chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (about 10) olives, diced


Rinse and drain 1 cup of quinoa (unless you buy quinoa that has already been washed). Add in 2 cups of water, turn the stove to medium-high heat, cover the pot and let the water come to a boil.

Once the water comes to a boil, turn the flame down to low heat and let the quinoa simmer over the low heat for 12-15 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.

When the quinoa is done cooking and the cooking liquid is absorbed, turn off the heat and leave covered.

In the meantime, lightly sauté the chopped kale in chicken or vegetable stock for 15 minutes until it's nicely wilted. Chop the tomatoes and olives and set off to the side while you make your avocado basil dressing.

Ingredients for Dressing

  • 1/2 avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-3 Tbsp. chicken or vegetable stock


Put the first 10 ingredients (through salt) into a blender.

With the blender running, stream in 1 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil followed by 1-3 Tbsp. of low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock (add 1 Tbsp. at a time) until you get the consistency that you want. The dressing should be thick but pourable.

Once the quinoa and kale are ready, combine in a large bowl with the tomatoes, olives and avocado basil dressing. Stir to combine. Serve cold or room temperature.

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