Kale, Quinoa, Roasted Butternut Squash & Pecan Salad

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If you need another reason to eat any of these nutritionally dense ingredients this salad is one.  Kale, quinoa, roasted butternut squash and roasted pecans come together to form a nutritionally dense and delicious salad.

You may have heard about how good kale is for you or maybe you haven’t.  You may already eat kale regularly or may have never tried it.  Regardless this salad gives you a great reason to eat more kale and you will be happy you did.

Kale provides a wide array of health benefits that we can all benefit from. 

It is very high in dietary fibre which helps with digestion and can help lower blood sugar.  You are also less likely to overeat when you eat foods high in fibre because it helps you feel full. This is why I am always full after drinking my green smoothies in the morning.

Kale is a great source of antioxidants and help fight inflammation thanks to omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin K.

It is loaded with beta-carotene (vitamin A) and also a good source of Vitamin C.

It’s a great food to include in your diet to help fight disease, lose weight and feel great.

What are you waiting for?

I absolutely love roasted butternut squash.  When it gets all golden and brown in the oven you know it is going to be really good.

Don’t forget to keep the seeds and roast them as a snack. Check out my roasted butternut squash seed post.  They are really addictive, just like roasted pecans. When roasting the pecans for this recipe you may want to be sure to do a little extra. They are best when eaten shortly after being taken out of the oven. They taste as incredible as they smell. Try putting a roasted pecan on top of a small piece of butternut squash as a little bite size snack while your cooking. Just be sure to leave some for the salad.

You will see below when reading the recipe that it asks you to massage the kale. Yes, massage the kale. Take the leaves between your hands and give them some love for about 5 minutes. This will soften the kale which males it much more pleasant to eat raw.  Massaging it helps to break down some of the tough fibre.  Massaging instead of cooking means you get all the nutrients from the kale because you are eating it raw. Just make sure to chew properly and enjoy.

Kale, Quinoa, Roasted Butternut Squash & Pecan Salad

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut in bite size pieces
1 cup “white” quinoa, rinsed
4-6 big kale leaves, rinsed and torn into pieces
1 cup pecans
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil

For dressing

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
a pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F.

Prepare the butternut squash. Put the squash pieces in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the pieces out on a large baking sheet and put in the oven. Roast for approximately 45 minutes turning several times until pieces start to brown.

Add the rinsed quinoa to a saucepan with 2 cups of water and cook for 10-12 minutes until there is no water left and the quinoa is cooked.

During this time you can prepare the kale. Take the time to massage the kale leaves with your hands for a few minutes.

Don’t forget to check on the squash in the oven.

Prepare your dressing in mason jar and shake well.

Once the squash is ready add the squash pieces back into the big bowl along with the quinoa and kale. Turn down the oven to 350F.

Lay the pecans out on the baking sheet and put in the oven to roast for a few minutes. This will openly take a few minutes so do not take your eyes off of them.

Remove the pecans from the oven and coarsely chop. Add to the bowl and mix everything together.

You can either dress the entire salad or dress individual portions. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

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Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Salads

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