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Winter Citrus Quinoa Salad

This winter citrus quinoa salad is packed plant-based protein, vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber! Made with in-season citrus, kale, blueberries, avocado, and quinoa, you’re sure to love how it livens up your plate!

When it’s cold and grey (like it is here currently in Chicago!) during the winter months, this fresh citrus based salad will brighten up your day and is great to pack for lunches or have for dinner. Keep it plant based or pair with chicken or fish for a fun and nutritious meal!

citrus salad with avocado

Adding some in-season produce to your plate is a fun way to jazz things up and add some new flavors to your every day meals. I rely on whats in season as inspiration to help me build my meals and keep them from getting boring.

My latest obsession with all things citrus was the inspiration behind this quinoa salad! Citrus is in season in the winter and avocados are especially bountiful (and on sale!) at this time right before the Super Bowl too! Blueberries are actually in season year round, and you can always find frozen at the store that work great in salads like this and smoothies.

winter citrus salad ingredients

Ingredients for Winter Citrus Quinoa Salad

  • sprouted quinoaI opt for sprouted quinoa because it’s easier to absorb the nutrients from it like protein, fiber and more due to the sprouting
  • Lancinato or Tuscan kaleI like the texture of this type of kale best, but you could definitely use regular curly kale too
  • citrus — oranges, grapefruits & blood oranges
  • blueberries
  • avocadoavocado is a good source of healthy fat, fiber and vitamin E
  • feta cheese I like feta best in this salad, but you can use whatever cheese you have on hand. Omit cheese entirely or substitute for nutritional yeast for a dairy free salad.
  • olive oil
  • lemon
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Nutrition Benefits of This Salad

Blueberries & Blood Oranges

I love blood oranges in this salad especially for their sweet tartness and amazing color! One thing blueberries and blood oranges have in common is that they both contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a flavonoid that give many veggies their bright red-orange to blue-violet colors. Because of their their antioxidant properties anthocyanins may play important roles in helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and cancer.

Citrus

I probably don’t have to tell you that citrus is bursting with vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps our immune system keep us healthy. It’s safe to say that we could all use a little more vitamin C during the winter months when it’s cold and flu season, so snack on citrus or add it to your meals like I did here!

Kale

Kale yeah! Sure we know kale is good for us because it’s green, but did you also know that kale contains 3 grams of protein per cup and is a good source of vitamin C, and K? It’s a powerhouse green that gives this salad an extra crunchy texture!

Quinoa

Quinoa is definitely one of my favorite plant-based sources of protein and such a versatile grain I think you should have in your pantry to build meals with at all times! It’s also a good source of fiber, magnesium and B vitamins. I like to use sprouted quinoa because some of the vitamins and minerals are betting absorbed that way.

How to Assemble The Salad

Everyone laughs about massaging kale, but it’s seriously so important! Here’s how to make this simple salad in less than 20 minutes.

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, wash and de-stem the kale. Massage in a bowl with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Cut up segments of your favorite citrus and add it to the bowl along with sliced avocado, and blueberries.
  4. Add cooked quinoa, top with feta cheese and enjoy!
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winter citrus quinoa salad

Winter Citrus Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: easy meals
  • Method: boil
  • Cuisine: american

Description

This winter citrus quinoa salad makes for a great lunch or side dish during the winter months. The flavors are bright and fresh and come together deliciously for a nutritious meal!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup sprouted quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups lacinato kale, washed and de-stemed
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 blood oranges, cut into segments
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into segments
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese**

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, wash and de-stem the kale. Massage in a bowl with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Cut up segments of your favorite citrus and add it to the bowl along with sliced avocado, and blueberries.
  4. Add cooked quinoa, top with feta cheese and enjoy!

Notes

** omit or substitute for nutritional yeast for a dairy free version.

Keywords: winter citrus quinoa salad

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