This post is sponsored by BestFoodFacts.org, all opinions are my own.
Kale Salad with Edamame and Quinoa
Healthy, easy to make, crunchy, flavorful, colorful, and delicious! Kale yeah!
Hahah, all jokes aside, this Kale Edamame Quinoa Super Salad is packed with nutritious ingredients and flavor. And it is easy to make. Plus, most importantly, it tastes awesome!
This salad has it all, the sweetness, the spice, the fresh, the creamy, the nutty, the crunchy, and that burst of delightful flavor.
Kale gets a bad rap for not tasting great, edamame has been getting a bad rap for misconceptions of soy being linked to breast cancer, and quinoa gets a bad rap for being bitter. But I am sharing all the TIPS and TRICKS for making this salad turn out amazing. With great flavor.
What is in this Kale Salad?
Obviously kale is in this salad.
So let’s talk about Kale for a minute.
- Kale is a true superfood. It is packed with vitamins. Even just one cup is going to give you over 100% of your daily value of vitamin A, C, and K!
- It is full of antioxidants with amazing prevention benefits.
- Kale is a good source of fat and fiber.
- Great for your cholesterol.
So how do you make it taste good? Massage it.
I love a good massage myself, but one of the biggest complaints about Kale is that it is tough, and not very yummy raw because of this.
But if you want a nice softened kale for this salad, just do this one extra step…massage your kale.
Massaging Kale- How To:
- Wash and dry the kale leaves.
- Remove the ribs/stem from each kale leaf.
- Chop the kale into bite-sized pieces.
- Sprinkle with salt. Not too much, just a little will do the trick.
- Pour a little olive oil into the bowl of Kale (1 Tbs is plenty) and use clean hands to work the kale, massaging it with your fingers until it turns a nice dark color and is tender. If you don’t want to use oil, use fresh-squeezed lemon juice instead!
For this salad you want to mix up your dressing, and just massage that into your Kale, that way you have no extra oil added, and you make sure it is well coated in the dressing.
Kale is nice and sturdy, which means it will hold up well and not get too soggy even if you make it a little early.
This Salad is a Good Side for These Foods
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Cajun Baked Salmon
- Low Carb Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
One of my favorite additions to this salad is the edamame. It offers such a nice mild and buttery flavor that pairs so well with the earthy kale, and lemon dressing.
I would like to note that while there is some debate about the health of soy (edamame), research has shown how amazing and beneficial it is, and how the myths about it were misconstrued conclusions made from only having partial data.
I learned a lot about how beneficial soy is for you during the Best Food Facts Soy Tour I attended in Maryland. It was so eye opening and interesting to learn what the misconceptions are, and why they are wrong.
I loved taking a look at the science, talking to the farmers directly, and hearing from nutritionists and experts about the ways soy is beneficial in our diets. We got to tour soy farms, plants where it is processed, cook with it, and talk to a nutritionist about the benefits of incorporating soy into your diet, like all the vitamins, nutrients, and protein it contains.
If you want to know how good for you Soy is, including edamame, check out BestFoodFacts.org for all the info.
What is Edamame?
Edamame is young soy beans that are harvested before they have ripened or hardened.
Edamame has tons of benefits, let’s look at some of the best:
- It is naturally gluten free and low in calories.
- Edamame is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids. It is also high in iron and calcium, and vitamin C.
- It is super versatile. You can add it to salads, soups, etc. like I did here, or you can enjoy it on its own as a snack.
- Edamame contains healthy fat, soy is high in healthy polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid. These are so good for you.
- Isoflavones: This is where many of the misconceptions of soy were born. Isoflavones are phytoestrogen, which is a plant estrogen, and unlike rumors state, it does not cause breast cancer, rather it has been linked to a lower risk for osteoporosis and cancer.
- And there is so much more, so be sure to check out BestFoodFacts.org to get all the details.
Quinoa is another one of those amazing super foods like the kale and the edamame. It is also gluten free naturally, and is a complete plant protein. It is high in fiber, magnesium, and more. So basically when you eat this salad you are getting so much good stuff.
The best trick to making sure your quinoa isn’t bitter is to give it a rinse before you cook it. It is coated in a naturally occurring bitter compound. So rinse it off before you cook it and you will get all the nutty flavor, and none of the yucky bitterness.
If you love quinoa like I do, buy a fine mesh strainer, it makes washing the bitter coating off before cooking much easier.
The rest are the added veggies and mangos that make this salad colorful and flavorful. I have played with lots of combinations, and this one is what I settled on as the best for all the things you want in a salad, tangy, sweet, crunchy, and soft.
For the nuts and seeds I added some slivered toasted almonds, but pumpkin seeds, walnuts pecans, etc. all go well with this salad also.
How to Make Kale Salad
- Start by cooking the quinoa and edamame so it has a chance to cool.
- Then move on to making the yummy dressing.
- Wash and chop the kale, removing the stems.
- Coat it with the dressing, massage, then refrigerate. Don’t skip the step of when you put the dressing on, massage it in with your hands. Trust me, it makes the kale taste soooo much better!
- Cut up all the other ingredients.
- Take the kale out of the fridge, and added in all of the ingredients.
- Mix and serve. Yummy!
Making this even Kale Salad faster to Prepare:
Don’t let the length frighten you, this salad is seriously easy!
To make it faster to throw together for those nights you want something fast, cook quinoa at the start of the week so you have it ready for all those yummy recipes.
Cut up your veggies and have them ready to toss in stir fry, salad, etc. That will really speed up this recipe as the time and effort is almost all found in the chopping.
Kale, Edamame, Quinoa Super Salad
- 2 cups cooked quinoa cooled (cook according to package directions)
- 1 cup edamame cooked and cooled
- 3 cups Kale chopped, ribs removed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 3 sweet mini peppers diced
- 1 mango pitted and diced
- 1 avocado pitted and diced
- 1/4 cup Toasted nuts or seeds
- 2 1/2 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh is best
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- pinch dillweed
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Chop vegetables and mango, and cook quinoa and edamame.
- Assemble dressing by putting all dressing ingredients in blender, and blending 10 seconds, or just mix by hand. Set aside.
- Wash and dry kale, remove the ribs, then chop kale, and coat with dressing.
- Use your hands to massage the dressing into the leaves until they are soft and a dark green.
- Refrigerate 15 minutes
- Add in cooked quinoa and edamame after cooled.
- Add sweet mini peppers, tomatoes, onion, mango, and avocado.
- Toss again
- Garnish with nuts or seeds
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.