Quinoa and Kale Salad with Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts

Low Glycemic Quinoa and Kale Salad Recipe

Recipe by Barbara Leach, Thrive Team member and gourmet health chef

Note on the health benefits of kale

Low glycemic weight loss healthy recipeKale possesses amazing “superfood” qualities. It is packed with calcium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K, as well as numerous essential minerals. In addition, it also has several sulphur-containing phytonutrients which amp up the body’s natural detox power. Kale is known to fight cancer, prevent heart disease, promote brain health, and clear the skin. And if that isn’t enough for you to add kale to your weekly vegetable protocol, know that this leafy green clocks in at a mere 33 calories per cup (plain), so eating it will almost certainly make you thinner. Eating kale is magical for your health!

What you’ll need


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 bunch dinosaur or lacinato kale
  • ½ cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


First prepare the dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients and set aside. This is to give the lemon time to take the bite out of the shallot and allow the flavors to marry.

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

Remove the kale leaves from the large stalk. Start by tearing away about an inch on each side of the kale’s stalk to form “flaps.” Grab the bottom of the stalk with one hand and pull up with the other hand, the kale leaf should come right off. Voilà. Do this to all the remaining leaves. Stack the leaves together and roll them up like a large cigar. Cut lengthwise down the roll and then slice into about ¼ inch slices and chop for your salad. Place into a mixing bowl.

Pour the dressing over the kale and, using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale, being sure that every leaf is coated with dressing. Set aside for approximately 15 minutes.

While the kale is wilting, place the walnuts into a dry pan (no oil) and toast for 3-4 minutes, until they are golden brown and fragrant.

Assemble salad: To the kale, add the cooled quinoa, half of the chopped walnuts, and half of the cranberries. Toss well.

Transfer to a serving platter or plates, top with the remaining walnuts, cranberries, and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bon appetite!

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