Kale Salad with Roasted Acorn Squash

After having a delicious kale and butternut squash salad last week at Audubon Circle I was inspired to make one myself. The first item on my grocery list was kale, and I actually picked up some fresh Kale at the Sowa Farmer’s Market yesterday and since I had an acorn squash from the garden to use, I decided to sub that for the butternut squash. The salad I had last week has sliced almonds, onions and Parmesan cheese. I don’t like raw onions nor am I a big fan of Parmesan but I do wish that I had had almonds in the house, I think that would have added a nice touch to the salad. Instead, to give it a little sweetness, I added craisins.

My version of Audubon’s Kale Salad

This salad is super healthy and loaded with nutrients. If you are looking for a delicious – and healthy – side dish to go with dinner tonight, or I’, thinking this would be a great alternative to green bean casserole at Thanksgiving, you’ve got to try this recipe. It’s quick and easy to prepare (if you microwave the squash)

Ingredients (serves 2)

5-6 Kale leaves, washed well
1 acorn squash (or sub butternut squash)
3 teaspoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
pinch of Salt
pepper
handful of craiains
3 tablespoons sliced almonds (optional)

How to cook Acorn Squash:

1. Cut the squash in half lengthwise
2. Scoop out the seeds and stringing part in the middle of the squash

Bake: Place both halves cut side up in a baking dish filled with 1/2 – 1 inch water, this will keep the skin from burning to the pan and the squash from drying out. Bake at 400F for 40-60 minutes, until soft. Timing will vary depending on the size of the squash, and the oven. Let cool and the skin will easily peel off

or

Microwave: Lay cut side down on a piece of microwave safe plastic wrap placed directly on a plate. Cook on high in 3 minute intervals until completely softened and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Again, cooking times will vary upon size.

I added cinnamon and nutmeg to one side – wish I had added it to both sides; it gives it a little extra something!

In the meanwhile…
Cut the stems off of the kale and slice leaves into thin slices. Place slices in a bowl and add half the lemon juice, 2 teaspoons olive oil and salt. “Massage” the kale with your hands, as my friend Meg explained it to me, until it begins to soften and wilt a little, this will take about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside for another 10-15 minutes.

In a smaller bowl mix together the remaining lemon juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and pepper. This will be the dressing. You can use more olive oil if desired, I like to keep it on the lighter side.

Toss the dressing with the kale, then add in craisins and cooled chopped squash. Toss once more so the squash gets a little bit of the dressing too! To make this a meal add sliced almonds and shredded Parmesan cheese …and eat the entire bowl. Or serve this as a side with pork, chicken, steak, or tofu!

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