This Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad makes the perfect healthy holiday side dish that is sweet, crunchy and super easy to make!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Well now that November is just about over, it’s finally time to start decorating for the holidays and planning all the fun festive parties!  This was the first year I actually put our tree up BEFORE Thanksgiving because I was just that excited, so December literally can’t come fast enough.  I just LOVE the holidays, especially because of all the delicious food, but who says everything has to be unhealthy and full of sugar?!  I wanted to share a recipe that would brighten up anyone’s holiday table while still being festive AND healthy!  I think this winter kale and quinoa salad makes the perfect healthy holiday side dish that is sweet, crunchy and super easy to make!

It’s also the perfect salad to bring to any holiday party!

This Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad makes the perfect healthy holiday side dish that is sweet, crunchy and super easy to make!

This salad couldn’t be any easier to make either.  Simply cook your quinoa and whisk together your dressing, throw everything together in a large bowl and you’re done!  The juicy pomegranate seeds are perfect with the crunchy walnuts and the sweet honey mustard vinaigrette just brings it ALL together.  I like to make a big batch of this for large groups of people, but if you wanted to make this for yourself for the week, I would suggest adding the dressing right before eating this so that the salad stays fresh and crisp.  I always keep my dressing in a mason jar with a screw top lid which makes it super easy to shake before using!  Then when you’re ready to eat, just drizzle some on top – so easy!

When serving this to a large group of people, I always like to toss the dressing about a half hour or 20 minutes before serving, place it in the fridge and let all the flavors marinate.  Then I top it with additional pomegranate seeds, cranberries and walnuts just to make it look pretty.  Hey we always eat with our eyes, right?!

Here’s a fun tip: to make this salad even more festive, try making super easy candied walnuts by mixing the walnuts in a saucepan with about a couple tablespoons of brown sugar over medium-high heat.  As the sugar melts, mix the nuts well making sure to coat them evenly (about 5 minutes total) then spread the nuts on a baking sheet to cool.  Then you can just toss them with the salad!

This Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad makes the perfect healthy holiday side dish that is sweet, crunchy and super easy to make!

Hope everyone had a delicious Thanksgiving weekend!  We’re headed to Asheville, NC this Thursday with about 6 other couples to enjoy a long relaxing weekend in a gorgeous home in the Blue Ridge Mountains to kick off the beginning of the holiday season.  We have wineries and breweries planned out, a trip to visit the stunning Biltmore Estate and, of course, a fun ugly sweater party because December means it’s officially Christmas!

Cheers to the holidays and hope you all enjoy this salad as much as we did!

Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 6 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. To make the quinoa, add ½ cup of water to a small saucepan and add quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 13 minutes. Remove from heat, keeping quinoa covered, and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes then fluff quinoa with a fork.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the kale, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries and walnuts.
  3. To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad and toss together until evenly coated. Top with additional pomegranates, cranberries and walnuts as desired, serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information
Serving Size: ⅙th recipe • Calories: 276 • Fat: 14.8 g • Saturated Fat: 2 g • Carbs: 29.7 g • Fiber: 4.8 g • Protein: 4.4 g • Sugar: 8.5 g • WW Points+: 7 • Smart Points: 10

This Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad makes the perfect healthy holiday side dish that is sweet, crunchy and super easy to make!