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4.8 from 15 votes

Maple Mustard Kale, Quinoa & Toasted Pecan Salad

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 -6 servings


For the salad

  • 4 golden beets or however many you have from one small bunch
  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed through a fine sieve (or 2 cups cooked quinoa, if you'd like to prepare the grain ahead of time)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup green beans chopped
  • 2/3 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 small bunch curly kale stems removed and chopped (about 5 ounces after preparation)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the maple mustard dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or tahini
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tamari Bragg Liquid Aminos, or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 11 ⁄2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water if needed


  • Preheat your oven to 400F. Trim the beets and wrap each one in foil. Roast for 40-45 minutes, or until the beets are fork tender. Allow them to cool for ten minutes or so, then run them under cold water and slip the skins off (they should come off very easily; if you coat the beets with a little oil before roasting, the skin removal is even easier). Chop the beets and set them aside.
  • While the beets roast, add the quinoa and water to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the quinoa, and simmer for 8 minutes. Uncover the pot and throw in the green beans, then recover and continue simmering the quinoa for 5 more minutes. Remove the quinoa and beans from heat and allow them to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the grain with a fork, re-cover, and allow it to sit until you need it.
  • Place a small frying pan or skillet over low heat. Add the pecan pieces and toast, shaking the pan every 30 seconds or so, until they smell nutty and toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pieces to a plate right away (they'll keep cooking if you leave them in the pan).
  • To make the dressing, combine the oil, maple syrup, mustard, tamari, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and nutritional yeast in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk to combine. If the dressing is thicker than you’d like, whisk in the warm water as needed. (Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the dressing will keep for 1 week; it makes ½ cup.)
  • When all of the ingredients are ready, add the kale to a large mixing bowl, along with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale, rubbing the pieces between your fingers, until the kale is softened and well coated with dressing (but not soaked; you'll be adding more vinaigrette in a second!). Add the cooked quinoa and green beans, beets, and pecan pieces to the mixing bowl and mix everything together. Keep adding dressing until the salad is dressed to your liking. Taste and add salt if needed and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve.


The quinoa and beets can be prepared up to three days in advance of making the salad. The dressing keeps for a week in an airtight container in the fridge, and can be made 5-6 days ahead of time.