Butternut Squash Salad Recipe:
Enjoy some health with your Thanksgiving indulgence. This butternut squash salad makes the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving feast… it’s easy to make, it’s healthy (paleo + whole 30 + vegan approved), and most importantly it’s delicious.
I got inspired when I saw this roasted butternut squash + kale saute from Simply Recipes. I thought it looked fabulous… and I knew it would also make a wonderful fresh, crisp salad. <— yup, it’s just that!
Perfection = flavor burst of tart, sweet, crunchy, & fresh… using balsamic vinegar, roasted butternut squash, roasted pecans, + raisins.
This recipe is yummy vegan side … but… you can ‘protein-it-up’ with some grilled chicken if you’re not a die hard vegan.
Lastly, here’s some fun facts about the health benefits of eating kale: —-> this nutrient dense super food is:
- Low in calories + high in nutrients.
- 1 cup of raw kale contains nearly 3 grams of protein (<— plant based protein… sign me up!)
- It’s high in fiber – which helps with digestion… and like protein… it makes you feel fuller… longer… (Don’t need that Snickers to satisfy my hunger)
- It’s a great source of iron – which helps deliver oxygen to your cells
- It’s loaded with vitamins A, C & K – great for bone health, vision, skin, metabolism, protecting against a variety of cancers, & keeping you healthy.
- It contains folate, which is beneficial for brain development – also important to consume before and during pregnancy to prevent birth defects of baby’s brain and spinal chord.
- Contains Omega-3s – not as many as fish – but a good way to get some extra in. A healthy diet contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (the average american diet contains FAR too many omega-6s).
- It’s loaded with antioxidants, which help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals (AKA evil molecules that interfere with you cells’ ability to function).
- It’s calcium rich – also beneficial for bone health + metabolism.
- It’s great for detoxing – keeps you + your liver healthy.
- Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol.
Happy Thanksgiving!! Indulge with a side of healthy.
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- ½ bunch Kale (Pre-washed, center ribs removed & chopped)
- 1 Small/ Medium Butternut Squash (about 2 lbs.)
- 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Tsp. Salt
- ½ Tsp. Pepper
- ½ Small Red Cabbage (thin sliced)
- ½ Cup Raisins
- ½ Cup Chopped Pecans
- 2-3 Tbs. Apple or Grape Juice (For a paleo as opposed to whole 30 - and if you'd like some extra sweetness... use 2 Tbs. Pure Maple Syrup).
- 6 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbs. Mustard (French's yellow is whole 30 approved)
- 2 Tbs. Balsalmic Vinegar
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place squash in a baking dish whole and cook it in the oven for about 40 minutes - or until squash is tender, but not fully cooked through).
- While squash is cooling make your pecans - place pecans in a frying pan and roast them raw for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add fruit juice (or maple syrup) and stir while cooking for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pecans to cool.
- Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool (about 15 minutes - to make it easier to handle).
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut squash into bite sized cubes and place them in a mixing bowl.
- Toss squash with olive oil, salt & pepper, and place squash on a cookie sheet.
- Bake squash again for about 15 minutes or until it is cooked through and browned on the edges.
- Remove Squash from the oven and allow it to cool.
- While squash is cooling prepare salad dressing by whisking together salad dressing ingredients.
- Combine kale and cabbage in a salad bowl, and top with squash, raisins, pecans & salad dressing.
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