Blood Orange Avocado Quinoa & Kale Salad

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad!

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad! Light dinner or easy lunch. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Happy Wednesday to you! I’m back home from Boston already– a suuuuper quick trip. But during our 36 hour stay, we took Jude around the city (some readers even recognized him!) and to cat rock park out in Weston for some off-leash adventuring. Jude is absolutely NOT a city dog, but he loved people watching from our hotel. Clearly my dog; people watching is my favorite activity.

I also met even more Boston readers at the cooking demo on Monday night– the signing was at Trident Booksellers and I’d love to go back at some point because it was a unique, casual, and cozy environment for a signing. Readers could order food, wine, beer, coffee, etc and watch me cook up front. I made chewy creamy caramels from Sally’s Candy Addiction cookbook and despite me totally missing a step in the caramel making (umm, whoops. Clearly can’t talk about my love for Taylor’s 1989 album AND cook caramel at the same time) — we all had a blast. Thanks to everyone who came, laughed, ate, took the time to chat with me, took pictures, etc.

Boston, I need to come back ASAP.

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad! Light dinner or easy lunch. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Before I left for Boston, I made a handful of new recipes to share on Sally’s Baking Addiction. The weather was going bonkers last week in Philly– bright sunshine each day which means I had 4 days in a row to bake and photograph. Between all the sweets, I made a savory and super healthy kale salad to eat during the week for lunch. What? Don’t YOU fuel your baking marathons with kale salads and cookie taste testing for dessert?!

I don’t post many salads on my blog, but had to share this one. Something that completely transformed my usual quinoa/kale/avocado bowl was the addition of intensely-flavored Moro blood oranges. Have you ever had a blood orange before? You’ll be surprised how naturally sweet they are. I love them for that very reason, but blood oranges also have this incredible berry flavor as well. Yes, berry! Sort of an undertone of raspberry or strawberry. So dang good.

And have I mentioned how drop dead gorgeous they are? Dramatic bright maroon interior with a sun-kissed peel. And the juice is hot pink.  Beauty contest winners right here.

Blood Oranges | Sally's Baking Addiction

I use blood oranges a lot in smoothies and salads, but my favorite is to juice them for mimosas. Seriously, try it. But today we’re sticking to salad. Geez, it’s only Wednesday after all. (Check back with me on the weekend.)

This salad is a smorgasbord of flavor. Kale and protein-packed quinoa are the base, soaking up the creamy avocado and homemade blood orange vinaigrette. So it all becomes this giant citrus-y, creamy, nutrient dense base on which we load even more goodies like walnuts (I used candied walnuts!), blue cheese, and chopped blood orange. While the flavors are unbelievable, the texture of the salad is my favorite part. The kale sort of breaks down and becomes super tender, soaking up the flavor from the blood orange vinaigrette, blue cheese, and avocado.

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad! Light dinner or easy lunch. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s talk about that blood orange vinaigrette! So simple. Ditch the store-bought because NOTHING tastes as fresh as this stuff. We’ve got olive oil, white wine vinegar, blood orange juice, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and that’s about it. Shake it all up and pour it on top. This tastes good on nearly any salad!

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad! Light dinner or easy lunch. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If blue cheese isn’t your favorite, use something like gorgonzola or goat cheese– anything goes. Nutty quinoa makes the salad super satisfying, so a big serving for lunch is all you need. And as leftovers? This salad gets even better because the flavors infuse into each other. You know how prepared spaghetti or even banana bread gets better after day 1? Same thing here! So it’s a perfect salad to make ahead for the week or even for entertaining. Easter side dish, anyone? I’ll be making it.

To make it a little more hearty, add some grilled chicken or shrimp. I think salmon would be incredible on top too. Or even crumbled bacon. YES. So many options. You’re going to love this versatile quinoa and kale salad.

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad! Light dinner or easy lunch. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Thought you might like a healthy option today! Let me know if you try it.

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Blood Orange Avocado Quinoa & Kale Salad

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad! Makes great leftovers. The flavors are amazing after a day or two in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 4 cups finely chopped kale (ribs removed)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 2/3 cup dry)
  • 3 medium Sunkist Moro blood oranges, peeled and chopped1
  • 1 avocado, peeled, cored and diced
  • 5 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts2

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh blood orange juice1
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Sometimes I do this with my hands to really mash up that avocado and massage it into the kale leaves.
  2. For the dressing: Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together-- or use a food processor. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat everything evenly. Sometimes I don't use ALL the dressing-- use however much you'd like. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  3. Serve immediately. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Moro blood oranges are available December through mid-April, so for any out-of-season months-- use any oranges.
  2. I used store-bought candied walnuts, found them in the produce aisle. Chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, or sliced almonds would also be tasty here-- or you can use candied pecans! Just as delicious.

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Another weekday favorite: citrus chicken quinoa salad

Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad

I’m working with Sunkist to bring you today’s fresh and simple recipe.

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad! Light dinner or easy lunch. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Healthy eating is anything but bland. I love this flavorful salad! Light dinner or easy lunch. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

39 comments

  1. i find that quinoa salads get dry sometimes, so i love that there’s some oranges to keep everything moist! plus, anything with candied nuts is fab in my book

  2. Yum, this looks delicious. I’ve been looking for some new ways to try quinoa, so will definitely be making this. 

  3. This dish looks soo amazing and it’s just perfect for spring. It contains all of my favorite ingredients, especially the blood orange, and blood orange vinaigrette. Can’t wait to give it a try, Sally!

  4. We love a good quinoa salad, especially if it involves avocado! 

  5. YUM! I am always in the mood for a salad and this looks to-die-for!

  6. Gorgeous colors! The blood orange is perfect! I’m the same way in fueling myself during baking “marathons”, I feel like I have to counteract the amount of cookie dough I just ate with a big healthy lunch! Or I could just bake something with zucchini in it, so I guess there’d be no need to eat the salad 😉

  7. So glad you and Jude had a wonderful time in Boston. 🙂 People watching is definitely a fun activity–do you make up stories for what they might be like? I like to do that with Erik and just make up the wildest stories possible. Haha.
    Meanwhile, cooking & talking at the same time are hard! Esp when talking about Tay. 😉 Boston is the best, isn’t it? 🙂
    Sally, I’m so jelly that you got 4 days in a row of bright sunlight to shoot! It’s been miserably overcast here in Maine and I have to keep reminding myself of what you said in your photography post about trying not to go above ISO 100 (thank you SO MUCH for your tips btw–game changer!!). 
    Meanwhile, your blood orange kale salad looks incredible. Love the addition of quinoa! I think the fact that the juice is hot pink officially makes it your spirit fruit. 😉 
    Happy Wednesday Sally. xo

    • I loathe shooting up my ISO! I resist it as much as I can because I truly notice a difference in clarity. Sending sunshine your way, hoping it comes!

      • SO true… Um, can someone say GRAINY? Goodness, it’s practically worse than shooting a pile of sand… Haha. Thank you so much! I can feel it getting brighter already (well, not right now since it’s nighttime. LOL). Have a good night, Sally! 🙂

  8. I love the colors in it, but definitely will be skipping the blue and goat cheese. Those two are icky. 

  9. Exactly my kind of salad. I love everything in it: the sweet & savory twist, the kale, the quinoa, the cheese… the nuts! Oh even through the screen I can’t resist, it’s already time to give it a try! Besides, I would have loved to be in the street in Boston and recognize Jude… and then looking up and see you. Haha, that must be quite a surprise!! 🙂

    • It’s not even the first time he’s been recognized. It’s happened 3 other times before! Such a famous pup these days. Ha!

  10. Gahhhh, I LOVE blood oranges! This salad looks like absolute perfection – I’m sure it was just what the doctor ordered in the middle of your cookie baking marathon last week 🙂 

  11. This salad looks amazingly fresh and delicious!  I am loving the idea of blood oranges on a salad. 🙂

  12. How funny, I just picked up some blood oranges this morning. This salad looks so delicious, but I’ll have to switch the quinoa for another grain, maybe couscous because of my quinoa intolerance. I’m sure it will be just as tasty.

  13. So much colour! This salad looks awesome!

  14. I make kale, quinoa, chicken with a tomatos sauce often. Might try this some day. I just love quinoa with kale and avocado

  15. Hi, Sally! I love kale salads for lunch! Question: do you think a grapefruit would work in place of the oranges? I know it wouldn’t be nearly as sweet, but I’m on a mega grapefruit kick right now and have a ton on hand! 

  16. I love the blood orange & avocado in salad! What a creative combination! Im very tempted to try this tonight!

  17. I’m so glad you enjoyed Boston! I’ve only ever had about 36 hours there myself, but I loved it!
    And Jude is such a superstar 🙂
    I too am a quinoa-salad fuelled baker and blogger. I feel like if I eat the healthy stuff for the main meals it makes up for the fact that my Saturday and Sunday afternoons are usually a paddling pool of sugar consumption…maybe? That and the running keep my from feeling too guilty 😉
    Can’t wait to try this one out! Thanks Sally 🙂

  18. Well, you have to warm up your belly for cake SOMEHOW. This looks like a superlative method of doing so. 🙂 

  19. This is so vibrant and delicious! The perfect spring salad!

  20. I am SO excited to see this salad posted! I just bought a big bag of blood oranges from trader joes – this will be great to make for lunches next week. Thank you!

  21. I’m so sad that I missed you during your Boston visit. I hope you come back to visit – I’d love to meet you in person. 

    I’ve been meaning to eat more salads, and I adore the colors. Blood orange is so gorgeous!

    • I’d LOVE to come back to Boston sometime. My publisher is housed there, so I’m sure I’ll be back for any future books too!

  22. YUM! Blood oranges! This salad looks amazing.  Can’t wait to make this one, it has so many things I love it in 🙂

  23. Just made this salad to bring to work for lunch this week and it is so delicious I want to eat it all right now! Thanks Sally! 

  24. I just made this (with regular oranges) and it was delicious!!! I never thought it was possible to crave kale, but I can’t wait to finish it off. 🙂 Thanks, Sally!

  25. This looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to make this next week!!! xo

  26. I am absolutely in love with the colours in this salad and that organized photo with all ingredients in the bowl. It looks so fresh and delicious.

  27. Will the avocados brown if I make it a day ahead of time for s party? Should I doak them in the blood orange juice or lemon?

  28. This was absolutely delicious! Made this for dinner last night and added some grilled shrimp. Direct quote from husband, “This was the best dinner I’ve had in a long time, or ever!”

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