Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad with Sweet Corn, Avocado, and Black Beans

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This might be the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Ok maybe besides cookie dough ice cream and sushi… It might sound crazy, but this has to be one of my top 3 favorite meals. And you guessed it, it’s healthy too! I see you rolling your eyes at me thinking that maybe this is the best healthy thing I’ve ever tasted. Stop right there. Make this. And be amazed. This isn’t a typical “salad” with tons of lettuce, it’s more of a pasta salad with a good mix of grains and kale. I call it a salad because it’s served cold, not warm…that’s how it works, right?

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad with Sweet Corn Avocado and Black Beans

This recipe is great for those of us that want to get a high protein fiber rich meal. Who doesn’t want that?! Quinoa, black beans, and kale are all excellent sources of protein and fiber, not to mention other essential vitamins & minerals like iron, vitamin K, and calcium. This recipe is also easy and pretty quick to make, it takes about 35 min, 20 min of that is waiting for the quinoa to cool then cool in the fridge.

If you don’t like kale, I urge you to try this. You won’t taste the kale except for a bit of a nice crunch. If you don’t like quinoa, I urge you to try this. It soaks up the dressing flavors so well. If you don’t like black beans and avocado, I urge you to try this. They make this salad so creamy. If you don’t like sweet corn, well you have more problems than I can solve with this salad…

And if you try this recipe and still don’t like kale (not likely), try this smoothie recipe where you can eat your veggies but not taste them!

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad with Sweet Corn, Avocado, and Black Beans

This one I added chicken too 🙂

Interesting facts about kale: Did you know that kale has more iron per calorie than beef!? Many people have an iron deficiency and don’t even realize it– maybe you’re tired often, have cold hands/feet, get headaches frequently, feel light headed, have brittle nails? These are all symptoms of an iron deficiency. Iron is essential for good health, such as transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more. Maybe it’s time you start eating less red meat and eating more kale! Read more about the benefits of kale here.

What You’ll Need:

1 cup dry quinoa

3-4 curly kale leaves (about 2.5 cups chopped)

1 can black beans

1.5 cup frozen sweet corn

1 avocado chopped

1/2 cup thinly chopped red onion (optional)


1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (unless you really hate cilantro…like my mom)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup lime juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup cholula hot sauce (chili lime flavor)

1 tsp sriracha sauce (or more if you want it even spicier)

1/8 tsp cayenne red pepper powder (use more or less to add/lessen spice)

3/4 tbsp dried chili flakes (spicy, yum!)

1 large garlic clove (pressed or finely chopped)

1 heaping tsp honey (helps the flavors really come together)

pinch of cumin, salt, pepper to taste

This dressing sounds hard to do because it has so many ingredients…but the hardest part is just stocking your fridge/pantry with  some of these things. Once that’s done you can make this many times really easily!

This makes about 5-6 servings and it makes great leftovers!

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad with Sweet Corn, Avocado, and Black Beans

What You’ll Do:

Cook the quinoa according to instructions.

While quinoa is cooking, prepare the kale. Tear the green leaves off the thick spines and chop those leaves finely (I chop it into realllyyy small pieces so it blends better with everything). Place into a bowl and massage a teaspoon of olive oil into it for about a minute. Add the can of rinsed black beans, the corn, chopped onions, and the chopped avocado then mix well.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and whisk together well.

When the quinoa is done, spread it out on a plate and let cool in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Then add the quinoa to the other ingredients and mix. Add the dressing and mix really well for a minute or 2. Let it sit in the fridge for another 5 minutes then serve.

2 notes: I love putting this salad in a whole wheat tortilla and eating it like a burrito…so good! It’s also great with some taco seasoned chicken chopped up in it (like in the pic above, which I made another time).

So that’s all, enjoy! I promise it’s delicious!

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad with Sweet Corn, Avocado, and Black Beans

Salad wrap!

♥Santa Monica Life♥

10 Responses to “Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad with Sweet Corn, Avocado, and Black Beans”
  1. L. Daniel says:

    we made this recipe last weekend. It was fantastic! I highly recommend it. So flavorful!!!

    thank you

  2. This looks sooo good…. I want that salad wrap now! I’ve got it bookmarked. 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Oh my gosh…just made this for dinner and it was fabulous. Super easy, but crazy delicious. Thanks!

  4. C. Daniels says:

    SOOOO good. Thank you!!!

  5. Clint says:

    My friend and I made this over the weekend and were blown away by how good it is. The spicyness is PERFECT, not enough to hurt but actually adds to to the flavor. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I made this as directed and a 21 year old guest laboriously copied my chicken scratched recipe by hand…then typed it out and sent it as an email to his health food freak (his words) mother. That says it all!!! Too good to be true even if you are a carnivore! Everyone especially loved it wrapped. OM! Goodness!

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