What’s In My CSA? Fall Squash and Kale Salad Recipe
Warm Fall Squash, Quinoa, Kale Salad
4 servings (modest), 2 servings (hearty)
Vegan and vegetarian friendly*
1 small butternut squash
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried sage
1 cup vegetable broth
½ cup dry quinoa
Pinch of sea salt
2 cups lacinato (dinosaur) kale
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Raw apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) plus more to spray baking sheet if needed
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
⅓ cup dried cranberries (I prefer unsweetened, many brands pack with excess sugar)
Optional: 1-2 Tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 400ºF, place top oven rack as high as it will go (unless you are using a convection oven)
- Wash butternut squash, peel, and cut into ½” cubes
- Spread out butternut squash cubes evenly on lined baking sheet (*Use parchment paper to line baking sheet, or spray with fine mist of olive oil)
- Lightly sprinkle with sage and paprika
- Roast squash for 30-40 minutes until corners begin to brown (*Small cubes shouldn’t need to be stirred or turned, but if you cut them larger you may want to halfway through)
- While squash is roasting, in a medium pot bring vegetable broth to a boil, add quinoa and salt, cover
- Cook quinoa for per package instructions, or until broth is gone, stirring every few minutes
- Place torn kale leaves into a medium bowl
- Make dressing: add dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, EVOO, black pepper and a pinch of salt to a small bowl
- Whisk dressing ingredients until well mixed, drizzle over kale leaves
- Once squash is roasted, quinoa is cooked, and kale has been marinated, assemble:
- In a fresh serving bowl layer quinoa, 1 cup of roasted squash, kale, and cranberries
- Mix thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste
- Bonus: top with 1-2 Tablespoons toasted squash seeds, or slivered almonds
Each season brings out something different in us. This is one of the reasons I highly encourage eating and cooking with what is in-season for your region. Our bodies have different needs based on the weather and temperature, and for this reason I believe some of our cravings are really our body’s request for fulfillment of those nutrients. Fall in Ohio means root vegetables, squash, and dark leafy greens. I want to fill my home with the scent of paprika, cinnamon, and sage. I want foods that will nourish my body, but bring my family and friends together too.
This is what I think about as the air gets crisp and I have to add another layer of clothing in the morning. I love cooking with fall weather foods, but I feel like sometimes they get a bad wrap for being high calorie, food-coma causing dishes. Warm, rich, cool weather foods can be heart-warming and stomach-filling without the guilt and burden of lots of butter and sugar.
A truly vine-ripened butternut squash is unbelievably sweet when roasted in the oven, it can be cubed and added to a side dish or salad like I did here, or pureed with some warmed apples for an amazingly simple soup. Deep orange colored squash carries tons of potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. These high antioxidant foods are good for our bodies head to toe – vision to strong bones. Bonus: all that potassium and magnesium helps to prevent pregnancy muscle cramps!
Fall cooking is also incredibly simple, so often it involves a little roasting, which while that may take a few more minutes, fall roasting and spices can fill your house with lovely scents that beat any candle. Personally, taking that time to roast vegetables makes me think about taking more time to slow down myself. Summer can be so busy and hot that I forget to relax. This year especially, as things in my life are changing, chapters are ending and new ones beginning, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my priorities. What am I being called to and where is my time best spent? Cooking healthy, real, whole foods is something I love and something that is a blessing to my family and a way to share time with friends. Cooking to me creates balance and helps me recharge. Enjoy!
What do you love about fall? Where does it help you recharge and create balance in your life? Let me know what you think about the recipe, comment below.