Kale Salad with Balsamic Roasted Butternut Squash

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I’ll be honest, I have been eating like a pig for the past few weeks. I’ve been spending way too much time by the dessert table at holiday parties. I love sweets and I love baking so I’ve also been making my fair share of holiday treats. While I love making holiday cookies for my family, I thought it might be time to balance out the baked goods with a superfood salad. This kale salad is topped with Candied Pecans, goat cheese, dried cranberries and roasted butternut squash making this the perfect salad for the holiday season (a great starter for Christmas dinner, perhaps?) The honey balsamic dressing adds the right amount of sweetness to help balance out the bitterness of the kale. Note: You can use agave instead of honey for the dressing (which also works great as a marinade)!

Serves: 4

Time: 45 minutes

Dietary Info: Dairy-Free option, Gluten-Free

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped and cleaned
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Candied Pecans
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese*

    *Omit for a dairy-free recipe.

    For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients and stirring vigorously.

    2. In a small mixing bowl, add butternut squash and 1/3 cup of the dressing. Toss to coat butternut squash. Add butternut squash to a roasting pan and place in oven for about 35 minutes or until squash is tender.

    3. While squash is roasting, prepare the salad. Throw kale into a large salad bowl, followed by cranberries, pecans and goat cheese. When butternut squash is tender, add to salad. Toss gently and serve immediately. Drizzle with sweet balsamic dressing. Enjoy!

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