Seared Salmon Quinoa Bowls with Cara Cara Orange Vinaigrette


A Note from Feedfeed

I’ve been actively trying to bring a little brightness into my meals during these uncertain times. Sometimes it’s with a squeeze of lemon or handful of chopped herbs, but often it’s with this vinaigrette that has continued to prove its stellar versatility the more I use it. The juice of the Sunkist® Citrus Cara Cara Oranges, rich in vitamin C, blends with thyme, mustard, garlic, and honey before getting hit with an equal amount of olive oil for a vibrant emulsified dressing that works wonders however you use it. In this recipe, it not only coats fluffy quinoa and baby kale but serves as the medium for quick pickling shallots and marinating salmon before getting pan-seared. The resulting dish is the ultimate weekday lunch or light and bright supper. Swap in whatever grain or green you want, and feel free to pivot to your protein of choice! The best part is that it holds beautifully if you’re looking to cook once and nosh for many meals to come!

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 30mins
Cook time 20mins
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card


  • 2 Sunkist® Cara Cara Oranges, juiced, about 3/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, minced
  • 1/2 Sunkist® Cara Cara Orange, zested, about 2 teaspoons
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 (6-ounce) fillets wild salmon
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 2 cups baby kale
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • Mint leaves, for garnish


  • Step 1

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, mustard, thyme, orange zest, honey, and garlic until smooth. Slowly whisk in ¾ cup olive oil until incorporated. Season with salt.

  • Step 2

    In a small jar, add the sliced shallot and ¼ cup of the vinaigrette. Seal and shake vigorously to coat. Set aside, shaking occasionally, for 30 minutes to quick pickle.

  • Step 3

    In a small bowl, toss the salmon fillets with ⅓ cup of the vinaigrette. Let sit, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa and reduce to a light simmer, then cook, covered, until all the water is absorbed, 13-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

  • Step 5

    In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the marinated salmon, beginning skin side down, and cook, flipping once, until each is golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

  • Step 6

    In a large bowl, toss the cooked quinoa with the kale, olives, shallots, and the remaining vinaigrette to incorporate. Adjust seasoning with salt.

  • Step 7

    Divide between bowls and top each with a salmon fillet. Garnish with mint leaves, then serve.