As we transition from summer to fall, I find myself putting aside raw vegetables as I begin craving heartier grain-based salads. For me, there’s nothing cozier than a nourishing bowl of good-for-you food with plenty of flavor and lots of ingredients – this salad fits the bill!
I find hearty greens such as brussel sprouts and kale to pair well with grains like quinoa, rice or faro to formulate a warm mouth-watering salad. This nutrient-packed warm brussel sprout salad with kale, quinoa, California Avocado, pears and walnuts makes for a clean and filling entrée or side salad.
Even more deliciously, the bacon cider vinaigrette ties the salad together seamlessly so you end up with a crunchy, tangy, sweet, creamy dish that covers all the textures and flavors.
There are so many ways you can use this salad as a base concept for your fall and winter salads, changing it up along the way. For instance, you can incorporate roasted vegetables such as sweet potato, onion, butternut squash, carrots, etc., to make it even more comforting and heartier.
You can also add chickpeas for vegan protein or baked chicken breast for animal protein to make this a complete meal. Want to change up the grain? Swap the quinoa for wild rice, farro, or barley. Toss in some dried cranberries or raisins for sweeter flair, or add feta or blue cheese if you’re a cheese lover!
Salad Prep Tips:
- If you’ve never thinly sliced brussel sprouts before, it’s easy! Simply hold a brussel sprout by the stem and carefully slice on a cutting board until you reach the stem. You can throw away the hard stems so that they aren’t too rough in the salad
- To safely cut an avocado, check out an easy step-by-step guide here
- You’ll use the same skillet for both cooking the bacon and sautéing the vegetables, so be sure to use a large one! The vegetables will be cooked in the bacon fat
- Make this salad ahead of time as a meal prep recipe and take it to work or eat it for weeknight meals
- Prepare the quinoa up to 3 days ahead of time if you’re making the recipe in parts
This is a marvelous salad to keep on constant rotation, and for sharing with friends and family at any gathering. Enjoy this bountiful salad!
Warm Shredded Brussel Sprouts Salad with California Avocado and Quinoa Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 3 strips thick-cut bacon
- 16 oz. brussel sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 head curly kale, chopped
- 3 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. sea salt, to taste
- 1 California Avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
- 1 ripe bosc pear, sliced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, roasted
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, heat a large wok or skillet over medium heat, and add the strips of bacon. Cook, turning occasionally, until much of the fat has rendered and bacon is crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes total.
- Leave the bacon fat in the skillet and transfer the cooked bacon to a cutting board. Once cool, chop the bacon and set aside.
- Leaving the skillet on medium heat, add the brussel sprouts. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shredded brussel sprouts turn bright green and begin to soften, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add the kale, cover, and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add the cooked quinoa, cider vinegar, sea salt, and chopped bacon. Stir well until everything is combined. Remove from heat and taste salad for flavor and add sea salt to taste.
- Transfer warm brussel sprouts salad to a large salad bowl and toss in the sliced avocado and pear. Serve and enjoy!