Winter Quinoa Salad

Salad + Winter don't seem to jive, but this hearty quinoa salad features crisp and tender roasted sweet potatoes, crunchy sweet kale and an outrageously flavourful but simple dressing making it a great winter option. Massaging kale leaves before tossing into a salad transforms this bitter, tough green into a silky and sweet ingredient.


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (see cooking instructions below)
  • 1 medium size sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 4 Tuscan or curly kale leaves, massaged and chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes, rough chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • Pomegrante Seeds, optional
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds, optional
  • Dressing:
  • ¼ cup flax oil
  • 1/8 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic


  1. Dressing: Whisk or mix all ingredients in food processor or blender.
  2. Cook quinoa as directed below.  Cool and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° Place onion, sweet potato and sea salt in a bowl and toss with olive oil to evenly coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly distribute vegetables on sheet. Roast in oven for 30 to 40 minutes halfway through to prevent burning. Cool.
  4. Remove the fibrous ribs in kale leaves, then place leaves together and rub with both hands to massage them.  (Leaves will darken in colour, shrink in size and wilt.) Chop.
  5. In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables, chopped kale, sun-dried tomatoes, shredded carrot, pomegranate seeds and sunflower seeds, if using.  Drizzle over dressing and toss to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

How To Cook Fluffy, Tasty Quinoa:

  1. Rinse the quinoa: Measure 1-1/2 cups of quinoa and place into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.
  2. Toast quinoa in saucepan (optional): Heat a drizzle of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to let the water evaporate and toast the quinoa.
  3. Add liquid and bring to a boil: Stir in 2 3/4 cups of water or broth and the salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Lower heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes: Remove the pot from heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered. Don’t peek!
  6. Fluff and eat! Remove the lid — You should see tiny spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve. If any liquid remains in the bottom of the pan or if the quinoa is still a bit crunchy, return the pot to low heat and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.


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