Kale & Quinoa Salad with Chili Avocado Cream
avocado in bowl

This hearty, healthy and flavor-rich power salad fulfills all high-brow entrée salad demands:

  1. Its Pinterest-worthy rainbow food in a bowl
  2. It perfectly executes a flavor tight-rope balancing act between pleasantly sweet and spicy heat
  3. It’s a texture circus of satisfying crunch and luxurious creaminess
  4. It fills you up and perfectly satisfies a nagging appetite
  5. It charges you up with potently nutritious high-flying energy, without the carb crash
  6. It soars with plant fiber and lean protein power
  7. Its just good. Just. So. Damn good.

Liven up lunch time with this Southwestern medley of massaged kale, quinoa, smoky black beans and spicy sweet potato with a dollop of chili avocado cream, feta and pepitas.

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions

2 bunches kale, ribs removed, torn into small pieces

4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Juice of 1 lime

½ tsp sea salt

1 large sweet potato, cubed

14 ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained

½ red bell pepper, chopped

¼ cup crumbled feta

¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds

4 tsp ground cumin, divided

2 tsp smoked paprika, divided

2 tsp chili powder, divided

1 ½ tsp salt

 

Avocado Cream:

1 avocado, skin and pit removed

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped

1 small bunch cilantro leaves

¼ tsp ground coriander

Salt, to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Faranheit. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.

Cook the quinoa on the stove top, according to package instructions. Allow it to cool before adding to the salad bowl.

In another small bowl, combine the cumin, paprika, chipotle and salt to form a spice mix.

Place the sweet potato cubes in one large bowl, and the rinsed and drained black beans in another bowl.

Drizzle the sweet potato cubes with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and do the same with the black beans. Toss in half of the spice mix with the sweet potato cubes, and the other half with the black beans. Toss everything well to coat. Spoon the spiced potato into one of the prepared lined baking sheets, spreading it out to form a single layer. Then place the black beans in the second prepared baking sheet, spreading them out to form a single layer. Place both pans in the over for about 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re mildly crispy on the outside while still soft on the outside.

Meanwhile, place all the ingredients for the avocado cream into a food processor and blend until smooth, seasoning with some additional salt, to taste.

Meanwhile, place the kale in to large clean bowl, and sprinkle over with salt. Then, with clean hands, massage the kale, scrunching it and tossing it until the kale is darker green and more fragrant

Whisk together remaining olive oil, lime juice and sea salt. Drizzle this over the kale, and toss to coat well. Once the sweet potato, black beans and quinoa have cooled down a bit, toss them into the kale bowl. Add a big dollop of avocado cream. Top with chopped red bell pepper, pepitas and feta cheese.

 

Nutrition Facts per 1 cup: 196 calories/7g total fat (2g saturated fat)/30g total carbs (7g dietary fiber)/8g protein

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