Vegan quinoa salad with tart, tangy pomegranate seeds, lemony massaged kale, and creamy avocado will have everyone reaching for seconds.
This Superfood Vegan Quinoa Salad recipe comes from my first cookbook, Bowls! If you love this recipe, I hope you'll pick up a print or e-book copy of Bowls! The book walks you through whole bowl meals, like this one, plus gives you a roadmap to creating easy vegan bowl meals of your own.
Vegan Quinoa Salad Packed with Superfood Goodness
Over at Care2, I spent a couple of months on a mini-series about superfoods. It culminated in a roundup of the six superfoods I had covered:
- chia seeds
As I read through that list, it occurred to me that you could probably create a pretty amazing vegan quinoa salad recipe that used the majority of these as ingredients.
It turns out that you can, and the results are super delicious!
The stars in this superfood recipe are:
- pomegranate seeds
Quinoa makes a great base for a salad. It's chewy, nutty, and full of protein and fiber. Toss in some veggies, fruits, and a little lemon juice and olive oil, and you've got a simple salad that's packed with nutrients
Making the Salad
The great thing about this recipe is that most of the prep work happens while the quinoa cooks and cools. Definitely get that quinoa cooking first, using your quinoa-cooking method of choice.
If you are using oil to make this recipe, just cook the quinoa in water.
For the oil-free version, use mushroom broth instead. The mushroom broth gives back the richness that you lose when you omit the oil.
While the quinoa is cooking, massage your kale and prep the rest of the ingredients:
- Mince some onion.
- Chop an avocado.
- Seed that pomegranate. (if needed)
You can sometimes find packaged, fresh pomegranate seeds. I prefer this to seeding the whole fruit, because why do more work (and cover your kitchen in bright red, stainy pomegranate juice) when you don't have to?
If you can't find the seeds, though, seeding a pomegranate doesn't have to be a time-consuming kitchen bloodbath. To prevent pomegranate juice from getting all over your clothes and countertop, just do your seeding in a bowl of water.
Whichever method you use, you add the seeds to your cooled quinoa along with the massaged kale, avocado, and onion. From there, you just toss and serve,
You can serve this salad immediately, but I prefer to let it chill for 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge. It's even better after it rests, so the flavors get a chance to meld.
This salad will keep for three to four days in the fridge, so you can prepare it the night before, if you prefer. It also works great as a grab-and- go lunch!
Ready to get cooking? Let's do this.
Superfood Vegan Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Get in there with your hands and massage the kale, so it's well coated, and set it aside.
- When the quinoa has cooled, add it to the kale mixture along with the pomegranate seeds, avocado, and toss well. You can serve immediately or make this salad a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.
- Oil-Free Variation: To make this salad oil-free, cook the quinoa in mushroom broth instead of water, omit the oil and salt, and add an extra 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the kale when you massage it