This Kale and Quinoa Salad with apples, chick peas and currants will brighten up any winter’s day. Hearty and delicious, it is packable, vegan and can be made ahead! Perfect for potlucks, gatherings and midweek lunches. 

Winter Happiness Salad | Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

Be with those who help your being.~ Rumi 

I’m so excited to share one of Tonia‘s recipes today.  Some of you know Tonia from the former restaurant we had together, called Mizuna.  She currently lives on San Juan Island and will start sharing her recipes here on the blog!  Her Winter Happiness Salad is made with Lacinato Kale, quinoa, chickpeas, apples and currants and really does bring a smile to your face when making it. At least it did for me.

Perhaps it was because I was reminiscing about our sweet friendship – and can’t help but tell you a little story about us. Tonia and I were born in the same hospital, 10 days apart.  We lived in the same housing complex, while we were babies. Our moms worked in the same hospital. We grew up in the same town just a couple of miles apart, but strangely, still had never met!

It wasn’t until we both went away to boarding school hundreds of miles away from home, that our paths finally crossed. Looking back, I know it was providence.

Winter Happiness Salad! Kale & Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

There are souls that you meet on this journey of life that feel destined. Our friendship has grown, deepened and endured the natural ebbs and flows that come with being in relationship, living, and residing in different places.

Though we both experienced so many changes, her love and friendship has felt constant, grounding and supportive. We can go months without speaking, yet I still feel her loving energy, like the sweetest scent in the air.

Today is Tonia‘s birthday and I’m feeling especially thankful for her and all the wisdom, groundedness and inspiration she has given me for most of my life. AND – I’m so excited to share more of her beautiful energy and presence with you here too,  through her recipes!

Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

The Winter Happiness Salad is packed full of healthy nutrients. Beautiful deep green lacinato kale, crisp juicy apples, dried currants, hearty chickpeas and quinoa. Once the quinoa is cooked, it’s just a matter of a little happy chopping, then combining the ingredients together.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

Dried currents give the salad a little natural sweetness and added texture.

Winter Happiness Salad! Kale & Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

Toasted fennel seeds and coriander seeds add a delicious flavor. Plus, both are amazing for supporting the digestive system.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

Massaging the kale with a little olive oil and salt beforehand tenderizes it and makes it much more pleasant to eat raw.  Make sure to remove any tough veins.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

Place the tenderized kale along with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle with the flavorful vinaigrette.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

Then gently combine. Feel the happiness start to bubble inside you.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

What I love about this hearty vegan salad is that it can be made ahead, and holds up well for several days in the fridge –  making it ideal for Sunday meal prep and midweek lunches.

Winter Happiness Salad! Kale & Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck  Winter Happiness Salad! Kale & Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

It’s also a great salad to make ahead for potlucks or gatherings.

Winter Happiness Salad! Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

Give this Kale, Quinoa and Apple Salad a go this weekend and let us know how you like it in the comments below!

Have a beautiful weekend!

xoxo

For more make-ahead, vegan salads be sure to visit here. 

If you like any of the wooden bowls or salad servers, make sure to check our store, we probably have some in stock!

 

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Winter Happiness Salad! Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches! #kalesalad #vegansalad #quinoasalad #chickpeasalad #healthysalad #potluck

Kale Quinoa Salad with Apples and Chickpeas

  • Author: Tonia Schemmel
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: salad, vegan,
  • Method: tossed
  • Cuisine: Northwest

Description

Winter Happiness Salad! Kale and Quinoa Salad with Apples, Chickpeas and Currants! A hearty vegan salad that can be made ahead- perfect for potlucks, gatherings or midweek lunches!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups cooked Quinoa ( 1 ¼ cup dry) 
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 bunch Lacinato Kale, de-stemmed, cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley, rinse and finely chop
  • 1 large apple, chopped into small bite sized pieces.
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chickpeas, (15 ounce can, drained and rinsed, if using canned)
  • ⅓ cup dried currants
  • 1 ½  teaspoons lemon zest ( about 1 medium lemon)

        ***Fennel and Coriander are both amazing for supporting the digestive system.

Vinaigrette:

  • ⅛ cup lemon juice
  • ⅛ cup apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste 
  • 1 tablespoon honey (sub maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste (adds depth, richness & probiotics!) white, red or brown
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Get quinoa cooking and cool to room temperate.  (Quinoa can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.)

Make the vinaigrette: whisk all ingredients together, except the oil, in a small bowl, then slowly drizzle in the  olive oil while whisking.

Toast fennel and coriander seeds in a cast iron skillet (or any pan will do) and give them a few stirs until they just start to give off their lovely fragrance, about 30 seconds. Grind with mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

Rinse and pat dry kale leaves and remove ribs and stems. Place in a large bowl and add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and a pinch salt. Rub the salt and oil in the leaves with your hands to tenderize the kale.

Add the cooled quinoa, parsley, apple, scallions, chickpeas, currants, lemon zest and ground spices to the bowl with the kale and toss gently with the vinaigrette.

Taste and adjust salt and vinegar, adding more to taste.

Options for a heartier salad: top with feta and/or toasted walnuts when serving.

Makes about 6 1/2 cups


Notes

Serves 4-6 for a hearty lunch.  Or 8-10 as a side dish.  Makes delicious leftovers.  Fantastic to make ahead and refrigerate, giving flavors a chance to fully develop.

If making ahead, taste right before serving and add more vinegar/ and or salt if necessary.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 423
  • Sugar: 9.6 g
  • Sodium: 429.7 mg
  • Fat: 31.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32.8 g
  • Fiber: 5.8 g
  • Protein: 6.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: kale and quinoa salad, lacinato kale salad, winter salad, winter kale salad, kale and apple salad, vegan kale salad, make ahead salads, winter happiness salad

 

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  1. Such a delicious salad! It’s in my regular rotation. I usually swap the chickpeas for lentils and toss in some feta cheese.

  2. So delicious! I loved every component and it came together just as predicted. Can’t wait for seconds tomorrow. Winter happiness indeed!

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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