kale salad with roasted acorn squash

How did I make it through Halloween without eating a single fun-size (or large, which is the true definition of “fun” size) candy bar?! I feel ashamed.

In spite of eating zero candy, I’ve been away the last four weekends and feel like my food equilibrium is completely off. This is the problem from eating in such a ritualized way- when you go off it and eat a few late lunches or dinners out in a row, you feel like junk.

That was the inspiration for this salad last week! It was wonderful and I’m excited to post it, but it didn’t quite do the trick so I’m cleansing again this week. I’m doing this cleanse, but more similarly to this time. The first time I did it I felt absolutely awful on Day 6. Like the worst hangover of your life. I think it was from eating so much red meat on Day 5 when I eat red meat almost never.

None of my cleanse posts are medical recommendations for you to do this cleanse. I am a doctor ONLY of ears- I know little to nothing about anything else. Just reporting on my experience. I like the “fresh start” I get from doing fruits and veggies exclusively for a few days. Although this salad comes pretty close.

 

Kale Salad with Roasted Acorn Squash

1 bunch kale

1 acorn squash

1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled

1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1 lb spicy turkey sausage, browned

for the dressing

2 tbs Dijon mustard

1 medium shallot, chopped

1 tsp white vinegar

1-2 tbs olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Kale salad! We’re doing it! This kale salad was one of my favorite recipes of 2014. It was definitely on the summery side, though. With the lemon and all. This is a fall edition.

It’s a little more high maintenance, too. With the other one I just dumped the dressing on it and let it sit for years and years until those leaves were broken down. In this version we’re going to talk about massaging the kale. Like I said- high maintenance.

First we rip the leaves right off the ribs. No knife required, just yank the leaves off and throw them in a strainer. We rinse with water. This is the before shot:

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Looks like something a cow could chew on all day, right?

So we squeeze and tear the leaves apart. Like an angry toddler playing with Play-Doh. (Maybe not?) The end result:

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We’ve decreased the volume by about a third (<—making this math up) and now they’re all in bite-sized pieces that are easier to digest.

It’s still wise to let it break down further in some dressing. Which brings us to the Dijon-shallot vinaigrette (<—just spelled this right on my first try for the first time EVER).

Saute the shallot in a little olive oil with S&P until translucent. Whisk it with about 2 tablespoons of Dijon, 1 tsp of white vinegar (or any light vinegar) and about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. It’s going to look like a comically small amount of dressing for all dat kale.

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I like to put the kale in a big bowl with a secure lid. That way you can dump the dressing in and shake it like a Polaroid picture until the dressing has dispersed and is just barely covering the kale. You don’t need a lot at all.

I let mine sit for about 3 hours. It can stay in the fridge or at room temperature.

Acorn squash! I cut it vertically (like cut the stem in half), scooped out the seeds, and then kept halving the pieces until I had about 1-2 inch wedges. It looks like cantaloupe!

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Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 375 for about 30-40 minutes or until golden.

To assemble the salad, place a couple of squash wedges on a bed of kale, sprinkle with blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and spicy turkey sausage. Yes, we’re sprinkling sausage these days.

You could totally leave out the sausage here, or sub it for grilled chicken or some other protein. I didn’t think it needed any extra dressing, either, but you’re welcome to add some. If you get a bite of each “topping” with the lightly mustard-y kale, I think it works.

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I wish I had thought to buy Craisins or pom seeds for this salad for a pop of color and sweetness.  Kelly’s suggestion? “We have Skittles! You can throw some red ones on there for color.”

Sorry folks, am I living with Buddy the Elf?

Totally making this again next week. With Skittles for dessert. Halloween candy will be so cheap!

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