Raw Kale Salad with Sprouted Quinoa and Pumpkin Seeds

Sometimes after a long day the last thing I want to do is come home and spend all night making dinner.  I know, I know.  I’m a food blogger and you expect more of me.  But, somedays, this is just how it is.

This week this salad has been my saving grace.  If you look at the ingredients and prep, it can be intimidating. The key is start over the weekend in small steps so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.  Don’t believe me?  Here, I’ll show you.

On Saturday evening, start by soaking some quinoa in a jar.  That’s it.   Just add quinoa and water.  It doesn’t get any easier than that.

On Sunday morning, before you head off to your yoga class or brunch, drain your quinoa and leave the jar on the counter.  Later that evening, rinse your quinoa, then throw these pumpkin seeds into your oven.  The prep work takes 5 minutes, they bake for 45 minutes, and then you just pull them out, let them cool, and put them into a jar for later.  Done, and done.

On Monday morning when you drag yourself out of bed and silently curse yourself for committing to 6 am spin class, just rinse your quinoa and leave the jar on the counter.  Easy as pie.

Monday evening?  Come home, kick off your shoes, grab something to drink, and rinse your sprouts.  Then massage some kale with a little tahini.  Top with sprouts and seeds.  Sit down and put your feet up.  You deserve it.  Dinner is served.

If you’re looking for a heartier meal then add a simple side soup (this one can be made entirely in your blender!). And if you’re aiming for a fully raw meal, then lucky you, you can skip the toasting of the pumpkin seeds and leave them plain.

Raw Kale Salad with Sprouted Quinoa and Pumpkin Seeds
Serves 4

1/2 bunch kale leaves (about 6 cups), chopped (de-stemmed if desired)
salt (optional)
1/4 cup tahini
3/4 cup sprouted quinoa (see recipe below)
1/2 cup toasted tamari pumpkin seeds (see recipe below)

Place kale leaves in a large bowl and massage for about 2 minutes to help soften the kale.  A little salt can be added to help drain some of the kale juices and soften it up a bit as well.  Transfer kale to a fresh bowl (and discard any liquid from the kale) and mix with the tahini.  Toss with the sprouted quinoa and pumpkin seeds.

Sprouted Quinoa
Makes about 3/4 cup
(You can read more about sprouting here.)

1/2 cup raw quinoa
Jar or glass container for sprouting
Cheesecloth to cover the jar
Rubber band
Water for rinsing

Put the quinoa in a glass jar and cover with water.  Put the cloth over the top and secure with a rubber band.  Soak it overnight or for at least 8 – 12 hours.  In the morning, rinse and drain the jar well.  There should not be water left sitting in the jar.

Leave the jar in a cool, dark place while the quinoa sprouts.  Make sure to rinse and drain the quinoa every 6 – 8 hours.  The quinoa will be done sprouting in about 48 hours.

Toasted Tamari Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tablespoon tamari

Mix pumpkin seeds and tamari in a small bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes so the tamari can be absorbed.  Place seeds flat on a baking sheet.  Toast in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping at least twice.  The seeds are done with they are dry and crunchy.

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  1. says

    I love kale and this looks delicious. I just made this with avocado and sunflower seeds. I am going to have to try the sprouted quinoa I have some in the cupboard just waiting to be sprouted. Thanks!

  2. says

    @David Bez

    Have you tried massaging the kale first? This tends to break it down a bit, especially if you add a little salt or vinegar during this process. You are a salad expert so I’d be curious to see if massaging it wins over your taste buds. :)

  3. says


    Thanks for your concern! Unless there is a new scientific development that I am unaware of, raw kale is definitely not toxic. I’ve been eating raw kale for years (along with thousands and millions of others) and have never had any issues with it. Let me know if you have a specific source or study that says otherwise. :)

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