Wilted Kale and Quinoa Salad with Maple-Glazed Pecans

How’s everyone faring after the long, intensive weekend of leftovers?
am Our second Thanksgiving was stuffed full of butter and excessive amounts of meat, just because. We had to make up for the vegan binge the night before.
AM1 Since that fateful day, we’ve been starting each morning with a kale smoothie. Of course, the kale smoothie might just happen to come after I’ve eaten more leftovers, but I feel like it kind of balances it out, right?

Today I’m bringing the recipe for that kale salad that we had on Thanksgiving. I think I’ll be making it again for Christmas dinner with the addition of some roasted pomegranate arils!

Wilted Kale and Quinoa Salad with Maple-Glazed Pecans

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
By author Lightly adapted from Angela Liddon
Warm and crunchy kale salad with a burst of tart sweetness from white balsamic vinegar and maple-glazed pecans.


  • 6 cups baby kale (washed and finely chopped)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup pre-cooked quinoa (use vegetable broth for more flavor)
  • 3/4 cups pecans
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoon flavored white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 handful Craisins (or substitute pomegranate arils)


Step 1
In a large pan on the stove, toast the pecans over medium-high heat until fragrant.
Step 2
Drizzle the maple syrup over, stirring constantly, then pour the pecans onto a sheet of parchment paper and place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Step 3
In a small food processor, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and process for about thirty seconds.
Step 4
In a large bowl, combine the finely chopped kale, warm quinoa, pecans and Craisins (or pomegranate arils) and drizzle the dressing over the top.
Step 5
Toss and consume.

AM10 This salad is pretty easy to put together once you’ve done the rinsing and chopping. We had leftover quinoa in the fridge so we didn’t have to labor over that for half an hour.
AM2 Toasting the pecans.
AM3 Maple-glazed! This makes the salad!
AM4 So does the white balsamic vinegar – Cara-Cara Orange/Vanilla from my favorite olive oil shop in Fort Collins.
AM6 Throw everything into a bowl and top with warmed quinoa, then toss.

I hope you’re all having a good start to the week! I’m off to another day at the brewery and I couldn’t be happier with my life. Prost!

What are your post-Thanksgiving cleansing foods/plans?

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