eating well

To Make: This Quinoa Crunch Kale Salad With Roasted Root Vegetables

Start the New Year right.

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is, as you may know, a super grain hailed for its health benefits. It’s versatile, it’s easy to cook (especially for those pressed for time – it cooks much faster than rice!). And it is especially good in a salad. This particular recipe incorporates spices and crunchy, tasty vegetables to create a vibrant flavor, which means no added dressing of any kind. The crunch comes from the texture of the seeds and nuts, as well as the fresh capsicum. With the addition of kale, this salad is super fresh, healthy and minimal, and — maybe the best part — it is super easy to make.


(Cook time, 35 minutes. Servings, 4 full meals or up to 8 side salads)


  • 1 large sweet potato or 2 small handful sized sweet potatoes (any variety you prefer)
  • 1/4 butternut squash
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (whole)
  • 3 cups of raw shredded kale leaves (any variety)
  • sunflower seeds
  • cashews
  • fresh basil
  • coconut oil (or any other healthy oil, like hazelnut or macadamia)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon curry powder


  1. Cut sweet potato and squash into small “bite-sized” squares and toss with paprika, curry powder and small drizzle of coconut oil. Place on baking tray and roast until tender and slightly golden on the edges, about 25 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius / about 340 Fahrenheit.
  2. While the vegetables roast, rinse and drain 2 cups of quinoa and place in saucepan with 4 cups of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Cover and turn to simmer. Check after 10 minutes, stir. Continue to check every 5 minutes. If it looks dry, but the quinoa is not yet cooked (should be transparent when done), then add a splash of water. Cooked quinoa should have expanded quite a lot and be light and fluffy, not thick and wet.
  3. Steam kale so it is wilted, but still vibrant in color — usually only 5 minutes, depending on variety of kale and size of steamer. Halve tomatoes and place in a big salad bowl along with small diced peppers and steamed kale. Add nuts, seeds and fine chopped fresh basil. Stir in cooked quinoa and roast vegetables. Finish with cracked pepper and stir through.

The salad can be served straight away as a warm dish, or kept in the fridge up to three days.

Enjoy for lunches, snacks or dinner!


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