Two friends sharing food and their lives

Oh She Glows Protein Power Rainbow Quinoa Salad

Oh She Glows Protein Power Rainbow Quinoa Salad

I have followed the blog Oh She Glows for a number of years, so naturally I own both of her cookbooks. I purchased her most recent cookbook back in February and have made several recipes from it since. When I was first browsing through the cookbook, this was one of the recipes that jumped out at me right away. It looked like a great plant-based recipe that would still be a filling and satisfying option for lunch.

The recipe calls for lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale), which is a type of kale that I haven’t seen in my regular grocery store. So when planning my garden for the year, I looked specifically for lacinato kale, mostly so I could make this recipe. Honestly, I think any type of kale would be lovely in this salad. If you don’t like kale, or find it too bitter, any sort of green would be a suitable alternative.

When making this salad, I only had a enough red wine vinegar to make half the dressing. I prefer my salads only lightly dressed, so I would say it worked out to be the perfect amount. It provided a nice complement to the other ingredients in the salad, without being overpowering. As the recipe states the sun dried tomatoes are optional, but I would highly recommend them; they provide a great pop of flavour every few bites. I also used sliced almonds instead of pumpkin seeds. Any toasted nut or seed would work to provide great flavour and texture. Really I think this is a recipe that you can play around with different combinations and tailor to your personal preferences and get a great dish every time. This would be an excellent recipe to take to a potluck, serve as a side at a BBQ or as a make-ahead lunch. The flavour was fresh and the texture was still crunchy after 3 days in the fridge.


1 cup uncooked rainbow quinoa or regular quinoa, or 3 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14 ounce/398 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 cups packed stemmed lacinato kale, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, julienned and chopped into bit-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped (optional, but recommended)

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp pure maple syrup
Zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 tbsp.)

For the garnish

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds (I used almonds)
1 tbsp. hemp hearts (These would provide a nice crunch, but I didn’t use these)


1. Make the salad: Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Combine quinoa, water and a pinch of salt in a medium pot and stir. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 13 to 16 minutes, until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from the heat, uncover, fluff with fork, and let cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, place the chickpeas in an extra-large bowl. Add the kale, carrot, green onion, parsley and tomatoes (if using) to the serving bowl along with the chickpeas.
3. Make the red wine vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, Dijon mustard and garlic. While whisking, slowly stream in the oil. Whisk in the salt, pepper, maple syrup, and lemon zest, adjusting to taste if desired.
4. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl along with the veggies. Pour on all the dressing and toss well to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the seeds and serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

*Note: the quinoa can also be cooked in a rice cooker using the same measurements above.

Happy weekend everyone!

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