Apple Quinoa Kale Salad with Homemade Lemon Dressing

I’m typically a huge salad fan. I love all kinds – pasta salad, egg salad, chopped salad, caesar salad, you name it. A pitfall I see with salads though, is that I get bored if I eat the same one over and over again. I get bored quickly. That was before I got rid of romaine and spinach and started using kale.

Kale is my JAM right now. I love that it’s a bit crunchier and keeps me fuller longer than other greens. I’ve been having some form of kale salad at least 3-4x a week lately, but I’ve been switching up the toppings to keep things interesting. 

Last weekend, I made the kale salad below and Bryan gave it his stamp of approval. If you know my husband, you know that he’d pick a sandwich over salad any day, so the fact that he had this for lunch one day should tell you something. It’s DELICIOUS. 

Fall harvest salad with lettuce feta apples quinoa craisins and kale

Fall harvest salad with lettuce feta apples quinoa craisins and kale

Fall harvest salad with lettuce feta apples quinoa craisins and kale

First things first. Before you start, you’re going to want to make some plain quinoa. That way, it has time to cool in the fridge. The ratio is 1 cup uncooked quinoa to 2 cups water. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. 

I recommend making it at least an hour ahead of time, that way it’s all ready to be added to the salad when you want it. I make a lot at one time, so I have enough for salads and side dishes throughout the week.

Next up is a homemade lemon dressing. No store bought stuff here. My uncle Steve told me once that the key to a delicious salad is making your own dressing. It’s too easy not to make your own and it makes all the difference, trust me. You’ll need items probably already in your fridge and pantry: high quality olive oil {this one’s my favorite}, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. I did two parts oil to one part lemon juice, but you can really make it how ever you’d like. 


Fall harvest salad with lettuce feta apples quinoa craisins and kale


The last thing to do here is assemble the salad. I chopped up kale as the base {obviously}, and topped it with the chilled quinoa, apples, craisins and feta. Then, drizzled it with the lemon dressing. There’s really nothing better. You’ve got to try this. 

It’s great to pack for the office too! I just pack the dressing on the side in a tiny container. I have this salad so often at work, that I think my coworkers think all I eat is kale. 

If you try this quick and simple fall salad, leave me a comment below or on Instagram and let me know how it was! 

Apple Quinoa Kale Salad
Serves 2
For the dressing
  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  3. lemon zest
  4. sea salt
  5. black pepper
  6. crushed red pepper
For the salad
  1. 1 cup cooked quinoa
  2. 1 bunch kale, chopped
  3. 1 apple, sliced
  4. 1/4 cup craisins
  5. 1/4 cup feta cheese
Simply Nicole
apple quinoa kale fall salad


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