When packing up a meal for a picnic, tailgate, or even a potluck at a friend's house, nothing beats hearty grain-based salads that can be made in advance — and this quinoa salad is a new favorite.
Inspired by a dish a family friend made where she covered the quinoa with a layer of kale and salted pumpkin seeds, I decided to stir the greens into the quinoa so each bite was full of flavors. Mango adds a sweet and tropical bite, and I garnished the dish with roasted almonds for a buttery, salty finish.
Mango-Kale Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 cup mango nectar
1 1/4 cups water
Salt, to taste
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves finely chopped
1 mango, peeled and flesh finely diced
2 cups roasted salted almonds, chopped if desired
In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa, nectar, and water. Season with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until nearly all the liquid has evaporated and quinoa is cooked, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the kale and mango. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork then add it to the bowl. Season with salt and stir well. Let the salad sit for about 5-10 minutes to allow the kale to wilt a bit. Check for seasoning and add a bit more nectar, if desired.
Add the almonds to the salad as a garnish or stir them in, whichever you prefer.