Fall Kale Salad with Roasted Squash, Dried Cherries, and Walnuts

Fall Kale Salad with Roasted Squash, Dried Cherries, and Walnuts
Fall Kale Salad with Roasted Squash, Dried Cherries, and Walnuts 
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Grain-free, Soy-free, Sugar-free (see notes at bottom)
Serves 2
For the Salad:
1 Cup Roasted Kabocha Squash, Cubed
1 Cup Roasted Eggplant, Cubed
1/4 Cup Dried Unsweetened Cherries
1/4 Cup Toasted Walnuts, Chopped
1 Small Bunch of Kale, Washed, Stemmed, and Chopped to Bite-size Pieces (with a knife or using a food processor)
1/2 – 1 TB Hemp Seeds (optional, but gives a wonderful nutty, creamy feel)
Lemon Juice and Salt for Massaging the Kale
For the Apple Cider Vinegar Dijon Dressing:
2 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TB Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Spritz of Lemon
A Drop of Sweetener (I used one drop of coconut nectar, I think maple syrup or honey would work well – it’s simply to bring out flavors)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
The trick to getting tender kale is massaging the chopped kale with lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt for as long as you can stand. For more information, see the Notes. For best results, massage the kale and let it soften for several hours or overnight in the fridge.
Roast the eggplant and squash. My favorite way is to slice the eggplant and halve and de-seed the squash, rub with olive oil and Salt & pepper, and roast at 400 degrees until tender. I like to do this during the weekend or at the beginning of the week during the rest of my food prep, so that everything is already done and ready to throw into a salad.
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or combine them into a glass jar. I love to re-use small glass jelly jars to make dressings as you simply shake up to combine and then you can store the dressing easily in the fridge to use throughout the week.
Add all of the salad ingredients together and toss to combine. Pour dressing over the salad and toss again. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts or hemp seeds. Enjoy!

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