Roasted Garlic Quinoa & Kale Salad with Cranberries

cranberryquinoakalesaladI can’t believe how quickly this week is flying by!  Doesn’t that always seem to be the case when you have a ton of things to do?

The good news is that I’m making progress on my to do list.

I finally have gotten Alex’s birthday shopping under control (thanks to Amazon) and am also almost done with my menus for the next couple of weeks.  My next ebook  (A collection of 60-ish healthy recipes) is in the putting it together stage .  The biggest challenge now is arguing over the name with my husband.

Ok, so I still have most of my Christmas shopping to do and my tree isn’t up yet.

Let’s focus on the positive, shall we?

It’s all in a wish list on Amazon AND we are doing the tree after my parents get here on Sunday.  See, I’ve totally got things under control!

So, today it was time to do a little taking care of myself.

A little time in the sun and a healthy lunch in the form of this quinoa and kale salad were just what I needed.

Obviously I eat a lot of quinoa salad, but I gotta tell you….

I love this salad.

I can almost feel the nutrients running through my body.  Better yet, it’s delicious!  I may or may not have eaten almost all of what you see pictured.  I blame the baby.  She must like healthy food.  (When she’s not busy making me eat chocolate, bread and pasta that is….)


This would be a lovely side dish for your holiday table! As part of a holiday meal it would serve between 8 & 10, assuming you have a lot of other offerings. One of my favorite things about kale salads is that they can be made and dressed ahead of time without worrying about the greens going limp.

How are you feeling about the holidays? Stressed? Under Control? Excited?

Roasted Garlic Quinoa & Kale Salad with Cranberries

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 294

Fat per serving: 16.7

Roasted Garlic Quinoa & Kale Salad with Cranberries

Inspired by Southern Living


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon chia seeds + ¼ cup water OR ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 small fennel bulb, shaved
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion


  1. Preheat oven o 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Place cranberries and garlic on pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until cranberries are wrinkled. Cool slightly. Peel and chop garlic.
  2. Meanwhile, combine chia seeds and water and set aside for 10 minutes. (Skip this step if you are using olive oil for the dressing.) In a medium jar combine chia gel or olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper. Shake well. Pour about half of the dressing over kale and massage. Allow kale to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Add quinoa, fennel, walnuts, red pepper, onion, cranberries and chopped garlic. Toss, adding in another 2 tablespoons of dressing. Taste. If your cranberries are extremely tart drizzle with another teaspoon or two of maple syrup and toss again. (You don’t want the salad to be sweet, just to cut the tartness.) Drizzle with additional dressing if desired.


Servings 6, Calories 294, Fat 16.7g, Carbohydrates 31g, Protein 10.6g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 73mg, Fiber 7.2g, Sugars 3.9g


This post is featured in Keep it Real Thursdays, Wellness Weekend & Healthy Vegan Fridays.

  • Jeanne

    This looks fabulous! Question about the garlic…how much goes in the dressing and how much added to the salad? Thanks!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Jeanne – I just put the garlic straight in the salad….but I REALLY love garlic. You could put it into the dressing and it would be great – the only thing is that you might want to massage the kale first and then add it to the rest of the dressing just to keep your hands from stinking.

  • Betty

    I finally tried chia + water instead of oil for my balsamic dressing and it tastes great. I'm planning on making this salad on Christmas Eve. If I read your response to Jeanne correctly, does massaging kale after peeling garlic remove the smell from your hands?

  • Melissa

    How long will this salad last? Unfortunately I am the only one in the house that will eat it and I made the whole recipe! It is very yummy, but am afraid it might not be gone in a week with just me eating it!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Mine was perfect for a couple of days and was all gone by then.  It should be ok for at least 3 or 4 days.

      Sent from my iPad