Raw Kale Salad with Quinoa

by Mar 6, 2023

This salad has been a favorite of mine since before I moved to Montana, over a dozen years ago. I make it frequently, but especially as winter seems to hang on into March and April. That’s the time when I’m craving something fresh and nutritious, especially for lunch. I was honored to have it included in the Spring 2022 issue of Edible Bozeman.
Photo by Samantha Lord of Lord & Co.

Raw Kale Salad with Quinoa

Servings 4


  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, "dino kale", washed
  • 3 small lemons, juiced to yield about ⅓ cup lemon juice Meyer lemons or regular, Eureka
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cubed


  1. Tear the stems out of the kale leaves then stack and slice into thin ribbons (chiffonade). A few cross chops will make the salad more manageable to eat.

  2. Place the kale and onion in a large ceramic bowl and drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, and agave nectar or honey. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Add cooked quinoa and avocado and gently combine. Cover and place in refrigerator to alllow the kale to relax with the lemon juice awhile, ideally 1–4 hours.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • Cook quinoa on the stovetop with a ratio of 1:2 to water and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil, simmer about 15 minutes until liquid is mostly absorbed then cover and steam for 5 additional minutes. This is the way Kathryne Taylor from Cookie & Kate likes to do it and it works well. Quinoa expand about 3 times, so 1 cup uncooked will yield 3 cups cooked.
  • When I don't feel like watching a pot, I cook quinoa in my rice cooker, same ratio of water as I use with rice.
  • Be sure to rinse quinoa with water a few times before you start cooking. The seed produces a soapy flavored residue as a deterrent to pests . It is harmless to us, but doesn’t taste very good. So, put the quinoa in a bowl of water, swish, then pour off the water two or three times.
  • This salad is at its best about 4 hours after mixing, but stays tasty for a couple days.

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