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Seared Salmon with Quinoa + Kale Salad

Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
  • Pescatarian
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Why we love it:

Well balanced, light, yet filling. I love the contrasting textures and colors on the final presentation and the curry in the quinoa gives it a beautiful yellow hue and layer of favor.


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder (divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 114 pounds Salmon (in filets, skin off)
  • 1 bunch Lacinato Kale
  • 8 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3 Green Onions

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. QUINOA

    In a medium pot with a lid, combine the quinoa, water, ¾ teaspoon curry powder, and about 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and stir, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover partially. Simmer for about 14 minutes, then stir and simmer another 3 - 4 minutes until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let sit for about 5 minutes longer to plump up.

  • 2. SALMON

    Slice the salmon in filets if needed. Sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and the remaining curry powder. Heat a large heavy bottomed grill pan or saute pan over medium heat. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil and add the salmon (skin side up). Sear for about 4 minutes without moving, until a nice golden crust forms, then carefully flip and cook another 2 - 5 minutes depending on the thickness, until the salmon is just barely opaque in the center. If they're really thick pieces, you can partially cover the pan to help it cook through.

  • 3. KALE

    Wash and dry the kale. Slice into thin ribbons, even through most of the stems (you may prefer to slice off the bottom inch or so of the stems if they’re really thick or woody). Place in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.

    Use your fingertips to massage the kale until it reduces in volume by about half and takes on a darker green color.

  • 4. VEGGIES

    Dice the bell pepper, slice the cucumber into half moons, and de-seed the pomegranate (you can use whichever method works best for the pomegranate but my favorite is holding it underwater to separate the arils from the membrane so nothing gets covered in red juice). Toss with kale but reserve some arils for a nice garnish.


    In a small bowl or mason jar, combine the balsamic vinegar, remaining salt (about 1 teaspoon), dijon, honey, and black pepper. Shake or whisk. Mince the green onion and add. Then add the remaining olive oil (about 6 Tablespoons) and shake or whisk to combine.

    Toss a few Tablespoons of dressing with the kale and veggies.

  • 6. SERVING

    Plate kale and veggies in large bowls, top with quinoa and a piece of salmon. Drizzle a little dressing over the quinoa and top of the fish to taste. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

    Leftover kale and quinoa are great all tossed together and with flakes of cold salmon for lunch.

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    brown rice is particularly nice, but wheat berries, farro, or lentils work too
  • KALE:
    if raw kale is too much, you can slice and sauté the kale for a warm salad. Or use baby spinach or arugula and omit the massaging step
    if you don’t have any on hand, you can skip purchasing them and use a shallot or bit of red onion, or make the dressing without the onion flavor
    any filet of fish will work here since the flavors are mild, sear until golden on one side and just cooked through - different thicknesses will take more or less time
  • FISH:
    try with chicken cutlets, pork tenderloin or chops, or skirt steak
    use any other veggies and fruits to taste. This salad is nice with roasted veggies such as yams, cauliflower, or mushrooms
    use your preferred dressing and save a step by not making this one from scratch
    my kids dislike the curried quinoa, so I leave the curry out and put a pinch in the vinaigrette instead. I may try chicken cutlet for protein (they’re hot and cold on fish) but I serve all of the components separately for them to try

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make the quinoa ahead – either microwave to warm or serve cold
  2. Wash and dry and slice the kale. Massage it just before serving though. Leftovers will hold up a few days, it’s nice to do it fresh for the first serving
  3. Separate pomegranate arils out
  4. Make vinaigrette
Rate this recipe:
1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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