Winter salad

Winter Salad

 

It’s hard to pass up all the delicious food at holiday parties; the baked cheese dips, potatoes dripping in butter, cookie platters, chocolate, the list goes on…so I don’t pass them up! I also don’t pig out and stuff my face. Instead I enjoy these indulgent foods in moderation and then I eat light and healthy the next day.

 

Winter is not generally a time I think about salads. The produce is not near as exciting and a lot of it needs to be cooked before enjoying. However, after the gluttony that is the holidays, sometimes a salad is exactly what I need to feel like myself again. This salad is delicious and it’s packed with super healthy ingredients. Plus, the kale does not behave like lettuce.  It holds up for a couple days, even after it’s been tossed in vinaigrette, so make a big batch and enjoy day after day! By the way, if you think you’re not a fan of kale, give it another shot. It is a cholesterol lowering, cancer fighting, fiber-rich super vegetable. There are numerous ways to prepare it, so if all you have done is steam it…give it another shot! The kale in this salad is covered in a tangy, mustard vinaigrette. The sweet butternut squash, tart apples, crunchy almonds and creamy cheese tie everything together, making this a recipe I keep coming back to. You can make it a heartier meal by adding some grilled chicken or tofu on top.

 

Kale-squash salad with mustard vinaigrette :

 

1 cup diced butternut squash

1 bunch kale – cleaned and torn or chopped into small pieces

1 apple – sliced

Shaved parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon Brown sugar

½ teaspoon Chili powder – optional

¼ cup slivered almonds – toasted

1 tablespoon Mustard – Dijon or spicy brown

3-4 tablespoons Olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt

Pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

 

Toss the butternut squash in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, sprinkle with salt and chili powder if you want a little kick with the sweet squash. Arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 10-15 minutes until the brown sugar has caramelized a bit and the squash is soft.

 

Meanwhile, mix the mustard and lemon juice in a large bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil slowly, add a pinch of salt.  Toss chopped kale into bowl with vinaigrette. Massage the kale and vinaigrette together. It’s important to really work the vinaigrette into the kale, it will help soften the kale it and make for a nicer salad.  Let the kale sit in the vinaigrette until squash is done. Toss hot squash, sliced apple and toasted almonds together in bowl to coat. Add the shaved parmesan on top right before serving. Serves two for a meal or four for a side dish.

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