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Quinoa-Kale bowl

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 4 (makes about 8.5 cups salad and 1/2 cup dressing) 1x


  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup dry/uncooked quinoa (any color)
  • 2 cups packed, coarsely chopped kale (any type)
  • 1½ cups cooked black or pinto beans (or 1 15-ounce can, drained/rinsed)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (cooked or raw)
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • Optional garnish: 1 oil-free corn tortilla, toasted, and sliced or chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 1½ ounces raw, unsalted cashews (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
  • 2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 1 medium clove garlic


  1. Place the water and quinoa into a small pot, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and simmer for 20 minutes with a snug-fitting lid.
  2. Place all of the dressing ingredients into a blender (smaller blenders work best since this is a small amount of dressing, about ½ cup) and set aside while the quinoa is cooking, or about 15 minutes (so the cashews can soften).
  3. Place the chopped kale into a sauce pan, and boil or steam in a small amount of water for 1 to 2 minutes on high with the lid on. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss together the beans, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and the cooked quinoa and kale. (The beans, corn, quinoa and/or kale can be eaten warm or cold). Divide the salad between two to four salad bowls or plates. OR place the romaine lettuce on the bottom of each bowl (a bed of lettuce), then create rows of the remaining ingredients (beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, quinoa and kale), as shown in the top photo.
  5. Blend the dressing ingredients on high until very smooth, adding a little water as needed to reach a slightly thick but pour-able consistency. Serve the dressing on the side or as shown in the top photo. Garnish with sliced or chopped toasted corn tortillas if desired.


Kale: You can use raw kale if you like (instead of steaming or boiling it first). In this case, just chop it more finely. I like curly kale or dinosaur kale in this recipe.

Optional additions: Sometimes I like to add thinly sliced cabbage, avocado, fresh cilantro leaves, and/or pumpkin seeds.

To toast the optional corn tortillas, cut oil-free tortillas into strips or triangles. I use the “broil” or "roast" setting on my oven for 5 to 10 minutes (just keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn).

Instead of cilantro in the dressing, you can substitute with ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil.

If you are sensitive to cashews or are trying to keep your calories low, you can use ¾ cup white beans (drained and rinsed) instead of the cashews (use all other ingredient amounts as listed).


  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe (2 cups salad with dressing)
  • Calories: 306
  • Sugar: 6.8g
  • Sodium: 94mg
  • Fat: 9.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.5g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Protein: 13.3g
  • Cholesterol: 0