Sweet Potato, Apple and Kale Quinoa Salad

Sweet Potato, Apple and Kale Quinoa Salad


I can remember my grandmother being able to make extraordinary meals and sweet treats.  I was always surprised how some leftovers, a few fresh ingredients, and the kitchen basics created a new meal in a matter of minutes.  She didn’t need a cookbook, anything fancy, or hours of prep, but somehow everything was delicious.  Grandmothers are the best!

Yesterday was the first time I walked into the kitchen to make dinner and had no idea where to start.  I grabbed sweet potatoes out of the pantry and opened the refrigerator to find apples and kale…a lightbulb went off!  This was the first time I stood in my kitchen with no idea of what I wanted and no plan, but somehow created a simple and very healthy dinner.  I couldn’t help but think if my grandmother was watching she would have been proud.

First, I started the quinoa on the stovetop.  While it was cooking, I sautéed the sweet potatoes in olive oil until they were almost cooked through, about 7 minutes, and then added the kale and continued cooking until both were tender, about two more minutes.

I removed the skillet from the stovetop and added a diced apple and some dried cherries.  I knew if the dried cherries were in there the girls wouldn’t turn it down.  The quinoa finished cooking as soon as I finished mixing everything in the sweet potatoes and kale — perfect timing!!  I added the quinoa to the sweet potato mixture, but it still needed something, so I whisked together a quick vinaigrette.

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp honey dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Mix everything, except the olive oil, together in a small bowl.  While whisking, slowly pour in the oil.  There is already a little oil in the sweet potatoes, so I didn’t add more much to the vinaigrette.  I added just a little salt to taste.  You could make the dressing in a food processor, as well.

Done.  Start to finish 30 minutes.

My girls loved it, but I did add a few things to their dish — a sprinkle of goat cheese and a few chopped pecans.  My oldest, who recently ate Applegate Chicken Sausage for the first time, said, “this would be perfect if it had sausage!”   Not a bad idea from a four year old!  If you eat meat, add the sausage to the skillet while you are cooking the sweet potatoes.

Sounds like she’ll be cooking for me one day.  :)

Sweet Potato, Apple and Kale Quinoa Salad
4.4 from 5 reviews
Recipe: Entree
Author: Victoria – Green Plate Rule
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 – 6
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed if needed
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups peeled and diced sweet potato, about 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups chopped kale, discard the ribs
  • 1 large apple, diced with lemon juice squeezed to prevent browning
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe above)
  • Optional toppings: chopped pecans and goat cheese
  1. Add the quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium pot, and turn on to high heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer until cooked, about 12 – 15 minutes.
  2. While quinoa is cooking — add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated add the diced sweet potatoes and salt, then cover. Stir occasionally, and if it starts to brown too much, add a little water or broth. Cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes, then add the kale and continue to stir until it wilts, about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Check on the quinoa — should be almost done at this point.
  4. Add the diced apple and cherries to the sweet potatoes.
  5. Once quinoa is cooked and cooled slightly add it to the sweet potatoes.
  6. Spoon in the vinaigrette, a couple tbsp at a time. We used about half the total vinaigrette, but add what works best for you!
  7. Top with goat cheese and chopped pecans, optional.
  8. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold!


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13 comments… read them below or add one

Kitty October 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to try it!


Emily Kallos October 25, 2012 at 6:59 am

yum! I’m going to try this with the kale we’ve got growing in the backyard.


Christy@SweetandSavoring October 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm

That perfect timing thing when cooking is something I haven’t yet perfected :) Looks delicious!


Carolyn Y October 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

Love this salad. I am a fan of all the ingredients. Totally pinning this.


Amanda A October 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

This is a wonderful recipe! I didn’t have exactly what I needed for the vinaigrette, but I didn’t miss it because the flavors were excellent. Thanks for sharing this easy meal!


greenplaterule November 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

So glad you enjoyed the dish, Amanda!


Lollie S. November 12, 2012 at 12:02 am

Thank you for this recipe! I made this tonight and it exceeded my expectations. I did not have cherries or goat cheese and it still tasted delicious. It was quick to make and I have left over dressing. Love your blog and I am on a mission to eat healthier. Your blog makes it possible :)


greenplaterule November 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you for the message. It means so much to hear from my readers! Have a great day!


Yazmin @ A Pretty Rock November 14, 2012 at 10:27 am

This looks lovely in your photo. I may have to pick up some kale and dried cherries to try this out next week! I’m sure my 2 year old will eat this up.


Donna November 16, 2012 at 7:34 am

This was tasty and simple!


Katy January 7, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Pleasantly surprised by this delicious meal! Thanks!


Donna S January 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I just made this, after finding your beautiful blog.

YUM! My kids are still a bit hesitant about quinoa… but they LOVE sweet potatoes… I can’t wait for them to try it! Thank you for the lovely recipe!!


Larry August 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Just discovered this site and this recipe! LOVE LOVE LOVE! SO delicious! And so nutritious!


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