Kale and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

by on June 25, 2013
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Kale and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

I’ve always said that I could eat soup year-round, but this summer, eating anything warmer than body temperature makes me want to rip off all my clothes–not in a sexy way but in a “flames are about to start shooting out of my eyeballs” way. You women over 50 know what I mean. So there are big gaps in my weekly menus that used to be filled with soup.

The great thing about a good bean and vegetable soup is that it’s pretty much a one-pot meal, so I’ve been experimenting with salads that have the same ease and simplicity. This salad is one of my attempts to have it all–beans, grains (or seeds, in the case of quinoa), and vegetables–in one big bowl. It’s similar to my International Quinoa Salad, except that with 4 to 6 cups of raw kale, it has a much higher amount of vegetables. Massaging the dressing into the kale tenderizes it, but if you’re not a fan of raw kale, you can steam it for a few minutes to make it even more tender. It’s one of those dishes that improves with age, so if you have the time, make it a day ahead and enjoy its blend of lemon, cumin, and chile flavors even more. And keep your clothes on.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Enjoy!

Susan

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megan - The Gluten Free Vegan June 25, 2013 at 10:07 am

I always laugh when I think of massaging kale. I think my kale gets more attention and care than I do some days! Love the idea of this salad and I think I’ll try making it this week.

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2 Kristin June 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

This may very well become dinner tonight. Looks delicious!

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3 Art Scott June 25, 2013 at 11:23 am

This looks scrumptious, thank you!

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4 Jennifer June 25, 2013 at 11:27 am

Looks Awesome! Gotta love the rainbow of colors in food – always!

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5 Nava Atlas June 25, 2013 at 11:33 am

Yes, Susan, I know exactly what you mean about flames coming out of the eyeballs. The good news is that all that heat does dissipate after some time. Don’t write off soups for the summer! For me, a cold soup is the most refreshing thing ever. I’m eating one as we speak — basically romaine lettuce, white beans, and coconut milk blended together, dressed up with more romaine, fresh corn, curry, and lots of herbs. So I hope you do a cold soup post soon! It will cool you off even better than a salad can.

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6 Susan Voisin June 28, 2013 at 8:26 am

Nava, I’d kind of lost the taste for cold soups, but you’ve convinced me to give them a try again. And you’re right about the heat getting better; this is my third summer of hot flashes, and it’s the easiest so far. But I can’t wait for them to be gone completely!

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7 S July 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I’m not much of a cold soup fan, but totally trying those ingredients as a salad!

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8 moonwatcher June 25, 2013 at 11:58 am

Hi Susan,

This looks great! My kinda salad, too. With the profusion of fresh kale this season, it’s a good bet I’ll be making this one too. I know what you mean about the soup and the hot flashes and the hot food. . .ah, life. . .sigh. . .here’s to keeping those flames out of the eyeballs!

Gorgeous mouthwatering photos, too!

xo

moonwatcher

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9 Trish @infinebalance June 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I’m not over 50.. yet! But I totally get your attraction to one-pot meals. Love the flavours here. Must try.

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10 Cheryl June 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I plan meals for the week on Wed. and this is definitely going on the list. Looks so delicious!
And, I completely understand the flames out the eyeballs! I’ll be 48 next month and have already been experiencing symptoms. IN Texas heat!! I may not leave the house in July and August unless it’s on fire. hehe

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11 Kathryn June 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Yes! I have everything in the house to make this. Hello dinner.

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12 ruth June 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I loved how you wrote about wanting to rip off your clothes, “not in a sexy way”. I laughed out loud. Yes, I know precisely what you mean!

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13 Caroline June 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Does ancho chili powder carry much heat? I know that chipotle powder is pretty spicy. This salad looks incredible.

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14 Susan Voisin June 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Thanks, Caroline! Ancho chile power is flavorful but not spicy at all, which is why I balance it out with the heat from the chipotle powder. You can just add the chipotle to taste.

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15 Jody June 25, 2013 at 6:07 pm

This looks like a great recipe for a hot summer night or even to bring to a picnic. I’ll be trying it soon.

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16 Gayle June 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Made this for dinner tonight. Yum! Thanks for another great recipe.

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17 Susan Voisin June 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I’m so glad you liked it!

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18 Tammy D. June 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm

This looked so fantastic that I made it for dinner tonight (alongside some McDougall’s chunky tomato soup from a box!). Wow! This is a great recipe, Susan, and I bet it will be yummy (cold) for lunch tomorrow at work, too. Thanks for sharing, as always. :-)

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19 Susan Voisin June 27, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I’m happy you liked it! I found it tasted even better the next day so I hope you enjoy it even more as lunch.

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20 Gail Lloyd June 26, 2013 at 1:06 am

I have to tell you, I was laughing hysterically as I read the first few sentences of your post, because I was indeed having an extremely hot ‘hot flash’ at the time!! But aside from that, and thank you for the laugh, because nothing is normally funny in the midst of a hot flash, I am anxious to try this recipe. It is everything I love! I’m so thankful to find good recipes without added fat. Thank you!

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21 Alison Bowling June 26, 2013 at 7:10 am

This looks really delicious and I have a big weakness for any dish with avo in it. Going to try substituting the chia seeds with cchopped pecan nuts as my husband is not overly fond of seeds in hi meals.

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22 Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today June 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

It will make a perfect summer lunch :)

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23 Marcia June 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Having your own private Summers isn’t much fun when it’s 107 degrees outside, so I get the non-soup meals. What do you think about using Farro instead of Quinoa…too heavy…okay…not as good??? Just curious, I’ve got both and have been looking forward to making some. I suppose quinoa is lighter so that’s good when you are trying to survive the heat (all forms of ‘em!). Thank you for this, I’ve been craving a cold pasta salad but this would probably hit all the same spots. Say, I made your Korean-Inspired Black-eyed Peas and Kale Bowl a couple days ago (it was only 99 degrees outside – almost sweater weather) and it was a huge success! Thanks so much, I truly enjoy your posts and thanks for introducing me to Moonwatcher! Her posts are like poetry – quite a talented lady.

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24 Susan Voisin June 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Whoa, 107? You’ve got me beat! I am truly sorry and will stop complaining about our temps in the 90′s (though I reserve the right to still complain about the humidity.) ;) I think farro would be delicious in this, so let me know if you give it a try. Did you see my farro salad from last summer? It made me a farro convert: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/08/farro-salad-with-tomatoes-and-grilled-zucchini.html

And you are so right about Moonwatcher’s posts. She gives me writer’s envy!

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25 Liz June 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm

“but this summer, eating anything warmer than body temperature makes me want to rip off all my clothes–not in a sexy way ”

Hahahaha! You are TOO funny, Susan. I can’t relate in the slightest, unfortunately, but that was hysterical! You had me laughing out loud. :) I’m sincerely sorry for your discomfort, though. :/ Here’s hoping it all passes quickly for you.

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26 Melody June 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I made this for dinner tonight and it was great! I’ve been making quinoa/black bean salads for a long time but this was by far the tastiest yet. I think the dressing really took it to the next level of yumminess. I also threw in some sun-dried tomatoes and pumpkin seeds. We’re going to have a heat wave the next five days here in North Idaho and now we can eat the left-overs and have one less reason to turn on the stove :)

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27 Michelle @ Michelle's tiny kitchen June 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm

This is gorgeous! I’m a soup lover too (confession: made lentil barley soup last week and split pea the week before that!). I’m sure my husband would appreciate this salad in place of another soup next week. Though I’m craving a black bean soup now…

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28 Linda Watson June 29, 2013 at 9:02 am

Looks delicious, Susan. Laughing about your heat comments too. Sounds like you are also “one of those dishes that improves with age.”

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29 Susan Voisin June 29, 2013 at 9:46 am

Ha! Thanks, Linda! I like to think so. :)

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30 Heather @Gluten-Free Cat July 2, 2013 at 8:49 am

What a delicious sounding and looking salad! I love quinoa salads and this one is so unique. I look forward to trying it!

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31 wendy July 3, 2013 at 7:02 am

This recipe was yummy! I am new to this lifestyle and you have quickly become my go-to expert for recipes!

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32 Elizabeth Dunsby July 3, 2013 at 11:23 am

Hi Susan,

Just found your site on stumble upon and it’s GREAT!!!
Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes!
Elizabeth

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33 janet @ the taste space July 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Susan, I just moved from Canada to Houston and I can totally relate. We spent a few days in NOLA, just after you write this post, actually, and I found NOLA worse than Houston. Gah, I have a feeling it will be an endless summer of cold drinks and ice cream. This also looks like a delicious option and will definitely give it a go. Your recipes rarely disappoint. :)

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34 Shalini July 5, 2013 at 7:03 am

This sounds delicious. I can’t wait to try it. I’m an onion lover and think diced sweet onions and some fresh cilantro will be a great addition to this. Thanks for all you do.

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35 SamuelS July 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Excuse my idiotcy, or other such ;-) is this ETL compatible??
TIA – SamuelS

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36 Susan Voisin July 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Perfectly compatible! Thanks for asking. For a complete list of my Eat to Live-friendly recipes see http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/tag/eat-to-live

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37 SamuelS July 12, 2013 at 7:34 am

We had this last night and it was wonderful. My “flexegan” partner who made this for me enjoyed it a great deal. Next time we will add more chile of some sort to make it more spicy, which we enjoy. Thank you for this recipe and looking forward to doing more!

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38 Lydia July 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm

This recipe ROCKS!!! Made it twice already and plan to prepare it weekly as long as the garden kale holds out.
PS I haven’t encountered a recipe on this website that was not a keeper ;-)

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39 stephanie July 9, 2013 at 5:41 am

Hi Susan! I’m making this for lunch today! How long do you soak your quinoa before cooking it?
It is 92F in Phoenix right now…at 3AM! High today is 109F. It feels bad now because we are just beginning to hit these very high temps, in a month we will all be used to it. Have you ever heard that a day at the pool with a kaletini will stop hot flashes?It won’t, but you will care less about the hot flashes after a couple kaletinis…

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40 Susan Voisin July 9, 2013 at 6:38 am

Hi Stephanie! I’ve never had a kaletini, but I’d be willing to try! ;-)

I don’t soak my quinoa–just rinse it well.

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41 Paige July 9, 2013 at 8:26 am

Yum! I made this for dinner last night. I only had plain ol’ chili powder and was out of veggie broth, but it turned out great! I added half of a red onion, minced, because the black beans demanded it and served the salad with diced tomatoes and avocado. Sprinkled a bit of Tajín for a finishing touch.

Thanks for the excellent recipe. I have four kale plants that are quickly taking over their bed, and appreciate a salad recipe that makes use of steamed kale since the variety I planted this year is a bit too bitter when eaten raw.

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42 Ashley July 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm

MMM…I just enjoyed this for dinner and I can not express to you how happy it made me. This was delicious and I already plan to share the recipe with others.
The only thing I did different was I didn’t add the chipotle just the chili powder. (No spicy foods in our house) :/ But it was amazing. Next time I am going to try sprinkling sliced almonds on the top for added crunch. :)

Thanks for sharing!! I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.

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43 J July 11, 2013 at 11:49 am

Looks amazing – can’t wait to try it!

Any suggestions for accompanying dishes?

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44 Christina Oddy July 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I made this tonight and it was a hit! (well, not with the kids, but that is another story!) The avocado definitely makes this dish delicious!

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45 Veronica July 13, 2013 at 5:11 pm

This is dinner tonight…on my way to the store for Quinoa!

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46 Sheryl July 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Hello,

I notice that a lot of recipes call for chili powders that I cannot get here, like ancho or chipotle. I can only get two types, chili powder mix for making a batch of chili or the hot red chili powder for adding to indian dishes. What do you recommend for this recipe?

Sheryl

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47 Susan Voisin July 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Try using the chili powder mix instead of the Ancho and the hot red pepper instead of the chipotle, but use less of that hot pepper to start off and add more to taste. And you may need a little bit extra of the mixed chili powder. Good luck!

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48 Starr July 15, 2013 at 7:35 am

Recipe looks wonderful! Hoping to find some recipes with a much shorter list of ingredients. Thanks for sharing!

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49 Gina July 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

This is one of the most beautiful, appetizing, appealing photos of good vegan eats I have ever seen! Thanks so much for sharing this perfect recipe, and (perfect) photos. As we are still experiencing a heat wave, this will be the perfect (have I over-used this word?!) dish to make tomorrow.

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50 Maria July 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I am going to do this recipe tonight. I do not see where the fat comes from, in the nutritional info, for the recipe without avocado. It says 2.5 grams total fat, per serving.

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51 Susan Voisin July 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Maria, most of the fat comes from the quinoa (1.75 g) and the rest comes from traces in the remaining ingredients, the largest being the black beans (.3 g) and the kale (.15 g). All of the ingredients except the lemon juice and salt contain some fat.

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52 Maria July 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Awesome, I just ate a huge bowl, it was marvelous! The flaxseed has healthy fat but I didn’t realize quinoa had fat. I wish your book had more photos but I’m glad it brought me here to your vibrant site! I am enjoying healthy weight loss with the recipes.

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53 Brandy July 23, 2013 at 9:39 am

I really enjoyed this! I used collards instead of kale since that’s what I had on hand and this was such a light, refreshing meal. Thanks for the recipe!

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54 Erica July 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Just made this recipe – SO good! It’s going to have to become a new staple around here

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55 Alison July 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Just made this and it is AWESOME!! I love your blog, and will trying a lot of the recipes! Thanks!

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56 Jrsygal59 July 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Made this, this afternoon then put in fridge until dinner…oh my is this delicious and filling….only use 1/4 of Avacado which I put on the side.

Thank you!!

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57 Jrsygal59 July 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I did forget to add that I omitted the salt…tasted just fine without :)

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58 anne kraul August 2, 2013 at 8:13 am

Wow, this salad was a huge hit. I added a little arugula since I had some handy. Did not miss the oil at all. My husband loved the fact that it wasn’t sweet.

I used the optional salt in the beginning to massage the kale. It seemed a little less messy to me than massaging the kale with the dressing. Of course, that wouldn’t work for those who are trying to omit salt.

I just discovered your site and have to tell you how thankful I am to you for providing these recipes. I’ve been a vegan since April and was beginning to get bored with the dishes I was finding in cookbooks and on-line. They were either too time consuming or bland. You have renewed my interest in cooking! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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59 Jen August 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm

This recipe is great! 10x better (and cheaper) than the Evolution Fresh black bean/quino bowl here in Seattle. This will be a regular started recipe for my work week lunches.

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60 Kim August 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

I made this last night and the quinoa just ended up making the whole salad gummy. Next time, I’m going to try tabouli instead. The flavor was fabulous! I will use the dressing on other stuff too, it was great!

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61 Kim August 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I will semi-recant my previous position, I just had leftovers for lunch and the quinoa has improved in texture.

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62 greg11aa August 13, 2013 at 12:28 am

Thank you for being there for us wanna be vegans ; o)… My 15 year old daughter A and I tried a twist on your Kale, Quinua and Black Bean salad (used brown and wild rice instead) and it was a hit! I appreciate your family favorites. If I can get A to rotate 10 to 12 favs then shes on her way to eating better more often then not. Two more recipes are slated for tomorrow. You’re the best! Your are appreciated and I think you are helping in the front lines on educating alternatives for our obesity epodemic. Espstein mentored Clinton and you’re mentoring many others.

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63 Alexanda August 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Tonight’s dinner; didn’t have fresh pepper, so used roasted red pepper. I liked, and so did my husband; served w sweet potato and ww pita; makes a good amount!

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64 Alisha August 20, 2013 at 9:40 am

Made this last night for dinner & it was amazing!!! This was perfect for me because I had kale, red bell peppers, carrots – all from my CSA that needed to be eaten. I put some black beans in the slow cooker in the morning, so they were ready to go by the time I was ready to make dinner. I also steamed the kale first because I wasn’t sure my 2 year old would eat it raw. The whole family loved it!

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65 Jesse August 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Made this today and it’s delicious! Thanks for the inventive recipe!

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66 Cynthia Bassham December 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Just made it and it’s fabulous! Thanks so much for this great recipe.

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67 Jessica January 19, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Added a minced habanero chilli pepper to this and it gave it a perfect amount of spice!

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68 Corrin Radd February 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Made this today. Good stuff.

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69 vegchristine February 16, 2014 at 3:31 pm

This was amazing! I have never massaged my kale before. I wish I had even though I felt a little silly. YUUUUMMMMY!

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70 Ruth Kloss February 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

I am recovering from pancreatitis and require a no fat, non meat diet for awhile. I am thrilled to have found your blog because I love to cook and the limitations this puts on my cooking and eating is literally wasting me away.
I like the ingredients you often use like kale, quinoa , beans and such. I am so happy to have these new choices. I may become vegan if the pancreatitis becomes chronic.

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71 East Meets West Veg June 2, 2014 at 10:19 pm

So beautiful and healthy!

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72 Esther J June 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I remember that I made this dish last summer, but honestly, I can’t remember how it was! And since I didn’t comment here, I didn’t even have a written history of it when I approached preparing it today.

Well, it was delish! I had kale I needed to use, and wanted different flavors than what I’ve been using lately, and this didn’t fail me at all. The only change I made was that, because I only had exactly one quarter cup of (red) quinoa, I sub’d the remaining with bulgur wheat (in fact, I dumped the quinoa and the wheat in the same pot and cooked them together). No problems there whatsoever.

The chopped avocado within the salad bumped up the dish even more.

My satisfied palate and tummy thank you very much, Susan!

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73 Shala June 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm

This was great, thank you! I really like your method of rubbing the kale with the dressing. I’ve heard of that technique, but this was the first time I tried it — and it really took away the earthy taste. I forgot to add garlic to the quinoa so I added it to the dressing. Also, I used left over adobo sauce instead of the two chili powders you recommended because I had some leftover in the fridge. My fiance and I loved our lunch, and I will definitely share this with others.

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74 Micky July 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm

This is so good – I love kale, and quinoa, and chia, and putting them together is superfood nirvana! I’ve made this recipe twice in the past week, and I’m about to make it again. I’ve added chard (because that’s what I have in the garden) – I imagine this recipe would do well with other greens like spinach.

I’ve made quinoa before but putting in on the stove with a bit of garlic and cooking until dry is new to me – and makes a difference in how the quinoa comes out.

Thanks – this is excellent!

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