Kale and Quinoa Refrigerator Salad

I take my lunch to work every day, so I’m always looking for healthy, filling and easy lunch ideas. Soup had been my go-to lunch with recipes like taco soup and black bean soup because I love being able to make things in large batches and eat on it throughout the week.

Every day I’d take my little container of soup downstairs to the basement kitchen at my office and re-heat my lunch.

Until two months ago.

At the beginning of the summer, one of my co-workers discovered (much to his surprise and alarm) that a black snake decided to take up residence in the office basement.

And that’s the last time I ventured downstairs to the kitchen. Can you blame me? After they discovered the snake, chased it around the basement for an hour and then called a professional to remove it, nobody bothered to patch the hole by the air conditioning unit WHERE THE SNAKE CRAWLED THROUGH!

For all I know, that snake had a family who is now looking for their lost relative. For all I know, that basement is crawling with snakes!! Am I over-reacting? I think not. 🙂

Clearly, I can’t eat a hot lunch at work any more! This forced me to find recipes that can be made ahead and eaten right out of the fridge. Thankfully, there are a few small refrigerators upstairs!

Hence this recipe was born. I called it a “refrigerator salad” because you can definitely add in whatever veggies you have in your fridge and then store it all mixed together in the fridge! This salad is delicious and so filling.

I purchased all my ingredients at Aldi, but I imagine Trader Joe’s has similar options as well. Here is the combination I’ve found to be my favorite.

Kale and Quinoa Refrigerator Salad

  • One Bag Sweet Kale Chopped Salad Kit (discard the dressing)
  • One Box Quinoa & Brown Rice Blend
  • 1/2 Can Chickpeas
  • 1/2 of a Large Seedless Cucumber, Chopped
  • Feta Cheese Crumbles
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions and allow the mixture to cool in the fridge. In a large bowl, add the salad mix along with the sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. Mix in the quinoa and stir until it is incorporated into the greens. Add the cucumber and feta cheese and toss to combine.

You can store the salad with or without the dressing depending on your preference. I like to add the dressing at least 12 hours before serving – it softens the kale and makes it much easier for non-kale lovers to enjoy!

I like to store individual servings in mason jars or small containers. The salad keeps well in the fridge for at least 4 days!

Where do you stand on snakes? And don’t bother to tell me that black snakes are the “good” ones. LOL.



20 thoughts on “Kale and Quinoa Refrigerator Salad

  1. How much dressing do you add to the salad? To answer your question …I like snakes, but only outside! It would take soup season to lure me back into the basement but only with a broom in hand! LOL


    1. You are braver than me! 🙂 I add dressing “to taste,” because after the salad sits in the fridge it will likely need a little more when you serve it. That’s probably not super helpful, but it’s probably more of a preference with how much dressing you add. 🙂


  2. EEK!!! I’d be super-nervous venturing into a place with snakes and would want to bring a weapon with me…just in case. But I’m no snake expert, so I’d have no idea what to bring. LOL! So sorry that you have to deal with that, Whitney! Is there a corner upstairs for a microwave? Maybe you can move it?


  3. First of all, I would totally be working somewhere else!!!! No question about that! I do NOT do snakes…of any color or size! After we found two rabbits and a cat in our basement that we discovered had come in through a hole we hadn’t seen before, I didn’t go in the basement for a while for fear that a snake had made its way in too!

    Secondly, I’m excited to see that Aldi has a sweet Kale salad! I will have to give your recipe a try (minus the cheese since I’m allergic to that). Thanks for posting!


  4. That snake story!! I’m not a fan either. I like your game plan to avoid that basement. Your salad sounds yummy. I’ve never added chickpeas to a salad. Quinoa is delish so I would like to get better at making it/adding it to recipes.


  5. WHITNEY! Oh my goodness. First, this salad sounds super yummy. And second, I don’t think you overreacted by not wanting to go back to the basement. I think I might have considered quitting. Lol. 😉


  6. In my book there are NO good snakes, and if that had happened at my office I would have had to get a new job! LOL. The recipe sounds great, though…. I’ll have to try it.


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