I first wrote this blog post when I was 23 years old. Here’s what it said:
“It’s coming to a point on my Facebook where everyone is becoming engaged. I don’t know what’s happening?
I mean, any time I even think about having a boyfriend I can’t help but laugh; all of the guys I go on dates with are either A) committed to work, B) completely awkward, or C) have questionable intentions. But I guess that’s what happens when you are 23.
So for now I think I’ll stick to single lady things until the man of my dreams (who might resemble Joshua Jackson aka Pacey from Dawson’s Creek) comes into my life. Plus if I had a boyfriend I probably couldn’t get away with making him eat quinoa and kale instead of manly beer battered onion rings and cups of BBQ sauce… or whatever Burger King is advertising this week.
What are your thoughts on that?
Hmmm, got it.
Let’s move on discuss adult things. Like salads.”
Reading it made me laugh real hard. Life’s got a funny way of changing quickly. Tony (my husband) and I met when I was 24 (only a year later). He still eats onion rings and pretty much hates all things quinoa (except when I make these truffles). Meh.
Years later, I wanted to improve the photography on this post & also bring it to life again. It’s basically the perfect salad for summer party season people.
My love of kale salads first began in 2010 when I would always find my mom making a big batch of raw kale salad with lemon, olive oil, garlic, and all the bell peppers. She would let it still a few hours until the lemon juice broke down the kale and the flavors became melded together; it was sensational.
If you’re wondering what the trick to a really good kale salad, it’s simple: massage in the dressing with your hands! Sounds crazy, but the dressing actually helps to break down the bitterness of the kale and infuse it with flavor. I wish more people would give kale a try, because when it’s in salads like this, you can’t go wrong.
And if you’re new to kale, you might as well put it in a uber delicious salad, right? That’s where the quinoa and edamame come in. Mega protein, naturally gluten free, vegan-friendly, and definitely full of good nutrients.
It’s like a healthy little fairy tale I dreamt up. The happy ever after is that flavor explosion in your mouth: Juicy mangoes, red onion, grape tomatoes, creamy ripe avocado, nutty quinoa, crunchy kale, and edamame. This salad just might have everything I’ve ever wanted.
I tossed it in a little lemony basil vinaigrette which takes about 5 seconds to mix together since it’s just a little lemon, garlic olive oil, basil, salt, and sugar. You can put it in a blender, or mix it up in a bowl (just make sure to mince the basil first).
The longer the salad sits with the dressing, the better it gets. It’s just too dang good not to try!
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram, or leave a comment and rate the recipe below.
More healthy quinoa salad recipes you’ll love:
Kale, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup frozen edamame, thawed
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and very finely diced
- 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 large mango, pitted and diced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- For lemon basil vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey (or agave nectar)
- 4-6 large basil leaves, very finely diced
- Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste
- To garnish:
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
First, cook your quinoa: Add quinoa and water to a medium pot and place over high heat; bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer quinoa to a large bowl to cool down.
To make dressing: place olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dijon, honey (or agave), basil, and salt and pepper in blender. Pulse for 10-15 seconds; set aside. You can also whisk in a small bowl if you don't have a blender (just make sure your basil is very finely chopped.)
In large bowl add your kale and pour half of the dressing over. Use clean hands to massage the kale for about 3 minutes or until it breaks down. This allows the kale to take on the dressing flavors.
Next add in quinoa, edamame, diced onion, and remaining lemon vinaigrette; toss so that the salad is fully coated.
Before serving, toss salad again and add tomatoes, mango and avocado. Sprinkle toasted sliced almonds over the top. Serves 4. Great for meal prep, picnics or parties!