Topped with roasted butternut squash dressed in a low-calorie dressing & accessorized with candied pecans this Winter Kale Butternut Squash Salad With Candied Pecans will warm you up with health!
Hope you’re having a great start to your week! I don’t know about you, but I kinda struggle getting enough greens in my meals during the winter. Something about a salad just doesn’t sound that enticing when it’s cold outside. I always look to warmer, bulkier foods for my meals. I don’t even like in place that’s that cold either. I can’t imagine living somewhere with real cold weather what I’d be eating. I’ve discovered that a warm salad can fill you up in the winter time as equally as a bulkier meal and be something you crave too.
This Winter Kale Butternut Squash Salad is equally delicious cold or warm. The dressing is very light. It doesn’t overwhelm the salad like most do, which is something I love about it. I can’t stand it when you get a salad that’s drenched in dressing and you can’t taste the flavors. I actually think this salad tastes even better the next day after the flavors have mingled. Kale yeah!
You might not like kale now, but you will after you eat this. I’ll be the first to admit kale has never been a favorite of mine. It’s too grimy, tough, hard to chew, makes my stomach grumble and has a distinct, funny taste. One or all of the above are my excuse(s) for not eating this powerhouse veggie. I don’t even like it in juices. A few weeks ago, I took a cooking class at Sur La Table and we made this kale salad. I fell in love. Of all the dishes, this was by far my favorite. So no, this isn’t an original recipe created by yours truly but it was just too pretty not to photograph and share with you.
Honestly I like photographing the food more than eating it sometimes. I must’ve taken 50 pictures of this dish. It was so darn pretty and the lighting was perfect too. Unfortunately all my picture taking is gonna need to be addressed soon as my photo storage is running out on the cloud and on my computer.
I need to start backing them up on an external hard drive and deleting off my computer. They’re making my computer run slow and it’s only a year old. Still amazes me how much my photography has changed in just a year.
But back to this Winter Kale Butternut Squash Salad, we can’t overlook the star of the show…the spiced pecans. They’re perfectly seasoned with a bit of spice and a bit of sweet. They taste just like candy. I could eat them all day by the handful. I lightened mine up by using baking stevia which way less calories than brown sugar which is what the original recipe calls for.
I’ve tried it both ways and can tell you, you won’t notice the difference either way so depending on your goals pick a side and go with it. Even if you salad isn’t your thing, you’ll wanna pin the recipe just to make the pecans. If only the web smellovision and food sharing, I’d hand you handful to try right now. Enjoy the recipe!
- 2 bunches kale, stems discarded & leaves cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 butternut squash (~2 cups), peeled, seeded & cut into ½ inch pieces (I buy mine pre-cut)
- 1½ tsp horseradish
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp walnut oil (or substitute canola oil)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups raw unsalted pecans halves
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup stevia baking sugar (substitute brown sugar)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven 350 degrees
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper of silicone mat
- Add butternut squash & spray with cooking spray
- Transfer to the oven and bake 45 minutes until roasted
- Meanwhile in a medium bowl whisk the egg white until frothy
- Then whisk in the sugar, salt & spices
- Add pecans & stir to coast with mixture
- Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat
- Bake in the oven 25 minutes & stir once
- While pecans are cooking whisk together mustard, lemon juice & honey in a medium bowl
- Drizzle walnut oil slowly as you whisk until combined
- Add salt & pepper to taste
- To assemble place sliced kale in a large bowl, add butternut squash, pecans & dressing
- Toss thoroughly to combine
Do you eat salad in the winter? Are you fan of kale?