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With red quinoa, cilantro and red onion in the mix, you’ll never guess you’re eating healthy when you dive into this veggie collaboration.  

Let’s be real, April is a month that’s full of things that can go awry. For starters, you probably won’t find out your roommate is a notorious prankster until the first day of the new month comes, and by that time it’ll be too late. It’s also the final stretch of the academic school year.

You know, the strange interim month where you’re so close yet so far from graduating, or at the very least, summer vacation. Before you spiral into ensuing sadness and complain about your life falling apart as you battle the end-of-semester burnout, try and reclaim some of your earlier goals. You know, the promises you made to call your mom at least once a week and cut the daily frozen pizzas out of your diet? Yeah, those. 

Now I don’t know if you’re anything like the majority of sane college students, but when given the choice between a $5 burger and fries combo or a $12 salad, most usually opt for the former. Paying ridiculously high prices for watery-tasting lettuce that doesn’t even include avocado or bacon bits? Hard pass.

I’ll admit it here first, I’m guilty of dousing cups of ranch dressing on a handful of arugula and topping it off with an entire bag of croutons to make the whole experience of choking down my veggies a bit more bearable.   

Maybe you also go green with envy whenever you spot students around campus popping kale chips as if their lives depended on it or breezing by with boxed salads during lunchtime. Do they actually find their taste buds tickled by the pleasantries of wet vegetables?

Never mind the fact that the rest of us are scarfing down a whole pizza, gorging on a bucket of fried chicken and still asking for dessert while we cry over the prospects of impending exams. Even though you’re four months into 2018, that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to get back on track. 

Luckily you can stop trying to justify the 2 a.m. Netflix slash binge-eating habit today and instead grab a spork and get cooking! That is, if tossing a bunch of premade ingredients in a bowl, drizzling dressing on top and giving it a few quick mixes will grant you Gourmet Chef status. Put on a classy dinner party Spotify playlist and freak your health-conscious friends out with this month’s recipe for Red Quinoa and Kale salad.  

It’s so trendy that it even includes two superfoods in its title, making you a lock for the Dorm Dinner Party Host of the Year award, and its complementary green and red color palette is good for at least 100 likes on Instagram. Plus, if you’ve never had sesame dressing before, let me be dramatic for a quick sec and tell you it’s a game changer. Gone are the days of bagged salad and breaking the bank to feel less guilty about your physical deterioration — get your daily dose of essential fiber, antioxidants and leafy greens all in one meal. 

Recipe: Red Quinoa and Kale Salad


1 cup red quinoa 

1 tbsp. Toasted sesame seeds 

1 clove garlic, minced 

½ c. freshly chopped cilantro, divided 

¼ c. red wine vinegar 

¼ c. sesame oil 

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil 

2 tsp. Honey 


Black pepper 

1 lb. kale, chopped 

¼ c red onion, thinly sliced 


1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on package. In a bowl add sesame seeds, garlic, ¼ cup cilantro, red wine vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a larger mixing bowl, toss kale and half of the dressing. Massage kale with your hands for 2 minutes. Add onion, remaining ¼ cup of cilantro, quinoa and more dressing to your liking.

3. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

Writer Profile

Bonnie Wong

University of Southern California

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