Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted Almonds

Gluten-free kale salad with quinoa tangerine and roasted almonds
Kale salad with tangerines, quinoa, and almonds.

My Kale Crush

Something has frozen over. Or maybe pigs are flying. I actually, um, like kale. After all my mocking, my nose crinkling, my eye rolling. After tweeting disparagingly about the taste of this dark leafy green (I believe the word I used was swampy). Behold. I am converted. I have seen the light.

The turning point? Lacinato kale (also called Tuscan black kale, or dinosaur kale). The long, slender leaves are delightfully un-swamp like. And unlike many good-for-you greens, there is little bitterness to harsh your mellow. Lacinato (like its curly kale cousin) does benefit from massage- especially in silky extra virgin olive oil.

But then Darling- what doesn't?

beautiful raw lacinato kale aka dinosaur kale
Fresh, gorgeous Lacinato kale. Dare I say, sexy?

Those of us wrestling with auto-immune issues benefit the most from kale's generosity in the anti-inflammatory realm. Kale is a goddess-send when it comes to nutrition. Extremely gifted with carotenoids and flavonoids, minerals and vitamins, it is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Translation?

It's a sexy vegan super food.

Eat it daily and it will help calm inflammation and feed you body and soul. In a clean, vibrant, living way dead junk food never can.

You'll *feel* the difference. Trust me.

Naturally gluten-free doesn't get any better than this.

fresh raw Lacinato kale
Lacinato kale, aka Tuscan kale, is my favorite kale.

I like to remove the ribs- which can be challengingly, jaw-numbingly chewy.

Here's how.

After washing the kale leaves and patting them dry, lay them on a cutting board, fold them at the rib, and use a sharp knife to slice the rib off the leaf.

Slice the trimmed leaves crosswise into ribbons.

Toss the kale into a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Massage the kale with your fingers to soften and tenderize (your winter skin will thank you).

Some folks add sea salt at this point to help break down the kale (this is helpful when using it for salad). If you are roasting the kale for chips- do not salt it. Salt softens the kale and will keep it from getting crispy.

kale massaged with olive oil
Raw kale massaged in extra virgin olive oil. Vegan heaven.

Unlike a lot of greens and bunny food, massaged kale doesn't suffer from storage. It keeps quite well, chilled in a bag overnight.

kale salad with quinoa tangerine and roasted almonds
Raw kale salad with quinoa, tangerine, roasted almonds.

Karina's Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted Almonds

Recipe posted February 2012.

New to kale? Try this super easy recipe we made with Tuscan kale and quinoa (another fabulous vegan super food), accented with juicy tangerines and crunchy roasted almonds. Vegan and gluten-free yum.


2 cups cooked quinoa
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 bunch Lacinato, Tuscan black or dinosaur kale, washed, patted dry
Sea salt, to taste
2 fresh tangerines
1 tablespoon gluten-free low sodium tamari sauce
2 tablespoons raw organic agave or brown rice syrup, to taste
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup roasted almonds


See how to cook quinoa the easy way here. Note: Before cooking, rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve.

Fluff the cooked quinoa and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil to moisten.

Follow the general directions above (in the post) to prepare the kale (remove the rib, slice into ribbons, massage with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, to taste).

Peel the tangerines and separate the wedges. Save half a tangerine for the juice.

In a cup, whisk the juice from half a tangerine with the tamari sauce, agave, ginger and garlic. Sprinkle over the kale and toss to distribute.

Add the kale to the quinoa and toss.

Add the remaining tangerine wedges.

Add a grind of black pepper, to taste. Taste test. Adjust seasoning if you need to.

Just before serving add the roasted almonds and toss gently.

Serve immediately at room temperature. (May be chilled ahead of time; add almonds right before serving to keep them crisp.)

Serves 4.

Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 

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More kale inspiration from food bloggers:

Kalyn's Kitchen: Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino
Running with Tweezers: Raw Kale Salad with Balsamic and Pomegranate
The Year in Food: Kale and Persimmon Salad with Yogurt Dressing
The Perfect Pantry: Shrimp, Kale and Cannellini Bean Casserole
Food Blogga: Easy, Butternut Squash, Kale and Chick Pea Soup

xox Karina


EA said...

Fantastic salad, and I love the vibrant orange and green colors! A year ago, I had probably only tried kale a couple of times in my life, but these days I can't seem to get enough of it. I made a kale, pasta, and pistachio salad yesterday with lemon vinagrette that was delicious, and I just ate the leftovers for lunch today. Lacinato kale is definitely one of my favorites!

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

Karina - I saw this pop up on my reader just now and immediately thought "didn't karina used to say kale tastes like shag carpeting, or was it just kale smoothies that were carpet-like?" - so glad kale has finally won you over. This salad looks fantastic and I cannot wait to make it :)

Kalyn said...

YUM! And welcome to the kale fan club! I am a very active member.

Caneel said...

Be still, my heart. I'm making this salad. Soon. You've combined some of my favorite ingredients (including kale) into one amazing salad that is making my mouth water with the flavor combinations!!

Dominique said...

This looks really fantastic. I just had a Mediterranean Kale salad for dinner tonight, and was thinking I really need to add a different dish to my weekly standards. Thanks.

Andi said...

Karina, I just made this salad tonight to go along with some tandoori chicken I grilled this evening and yum! I had a tooon of salad and very little chicken. My favorite part was the raw kale; I have never eaten a dish with raw kale before. It is soooo good prepared with the olive oil. Crispy, fresh and sooo crunchy with the addition of the almonds. Absolutely a recipe I will make again and again this season. Thank you!

CeliacChick said...

Congratulations! Yeah, it's an acquired taste! :D


Unknown said...

I love kale. This looks so delicious and healthy. Will be trying tonight!

julie said...

This looks so good! I am a hard core kale fan. I have been known to have 5 different varieties in my garden at once. If I was stranded on an island with only one vegetable, it would be kale. Truly, I am a nicer person when I eat kale regularly. Without kale I get grumpy (after reading your post, I wonder if maybe I should say I get "inflamed" rather than "grumpy", but the two seem to go hand in hand for me). Go Kale! Go GF Goddess!

Bam's Kitchen said...


This sounds yummy. I like the bitterness of the kale and the sweetness of the agave and oranges. Take Care, BAM

Michele Durrett said...

I made this last weekend along with the Mediterranean Fish and Flourless Chocolate Cake for a very deserving special someone and all three were amazing! The recipe yields a nice large bowl and I was secretly excited about leftovers but to my amazement there weren't any (I had a nice serving and he ate the rest)! The fish was also so good and easy to make and the Chocolate Cake? Well suffice it to say, he ate half of it, friends and family ate the rest, and there was not a crumb left in the pan. I am new to the Gluten-Free world and your blog has been an amazing help. Thank you so much.

Stephanie Wolfe said...

Loved this recipe! This was my first quinoa experience. So good! I used an orange instead of a tangerine because it was all I had. Next time I'm trying the tangerine. I'm excited about the leftovers today.

Laureen said...

I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! My first time eating raw kale and i can't wait to make it again. Thanks for another great recipe.

chandra said...

i adore you!! i've been a super healthy eater for years and have raised my kids this way. but recently we've discovered the monster that is food sensitivities in our family and i have gone from a barefoot-apron-wearing-goddess to being bored, intimidated and exhausted in my kitchen. i love your recipes - simple ingredients, unique flavors and super healthy. an added bonus is that i have a BLAST reading your stuff. so, thank-you so much for taking time and energy to make your gift available. i am inspired again.

Sarasan said...

Just made this for my dinner. I love it!! Karina: Ur the best!!

Anonymous said...

Lovely Recipe.

Rochelle @ WheatlessRochelle.com said...

Count me among the masses of kale converts. I thought I hated kale until I made kale chips a few months ago for my kids. Not only did I not hate them, I actually really *liked* them. Since then, kale and I have been BFFs!

evie said...

I've been a vegetarian for almost 9years now n lately i've been feeli' like a need a change - sth2make my diet more healthy n delicious.
I though bout goin' gluten-free but i was afraid it's gonna b simply impossible 4a student like me - always in a hurry, always on a tight budget.
N then i found ur blog (like 10mins ago)... there's no other way2say it: i love u.

n I've just went all gluten-free on this mother - gonna start a gluten-free diet in few hours.

thxs a million,

glutenfreemuse.com said...

That looks delish! I make a Kale Superfood Salad that I'm pretty obsessed with as well :-)

Molly @ SprueStory.com said...

I'm a pretty new follower (of the gluten-free diet AND of your blog) and just wanted to say I love your design and photos. The whole effect is so fresh and bright, it makes me think of a sunny kitchen and laundry hanging out to dry in the spring! And is that a purple colander? :)

Oh, kale? Kale's good, too. But clearly I still have some work ahead of me if I want to build up enough kale love to not get distracted by a pretty blog header!


kellypea said...

I love this funky combination of flavors and have to try it. I've always been a green veggie lover whether it's a nutritional darling of the moment or not. Love kale and what you've done with this salad.

Kay Dougherty said...

I love this salad! My only word of caution is be careful not to over-salt it as I did the other day!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

oh my
one who has an auto immune disorder
thanks you
you are welcome on my plate daily...

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