09 Apr Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries
So clearly this mouth-watering salad is easy on the eyes. But it’s also really good for you too. Raw baby kale is full of fiber and vitamins A and K. Butternut squash is high in Vitamin A along with Vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Look for dried cranberries that are sweetened with all natural fruit juice instead of sugar. And crunchy pepitas (also known as pumpkin seeds) are loaded in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. I like topping the salad with chicken or hemp seeds for protein to help balance the healthy carbs and fat in the dish and transform it into a fat-blasting, metabolism boosting meal.
To make this salad as easy as possible, buy butternut squash that is already peeled (or peeled and chopped.) Or you can swap the butternut squash for roasted sweet potatoes or quinoa. You can also use a store-bought rotisserie chicken (remove the skin) to save time or serve this gorgeous salad as a side dish with your favorite lean proteins.
Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash and Cranberries
Makes about 4 to 5 Servings.
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 lb. butternut squash (buy it already peeled), chopped into small chunks
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Handful of pepitas (you can buy them in bulk for cheap at the supermarket)
- Handful of dried cranberries (ideally the kind sweetened with fruit juice, not white sugar – read the ingredient list)
- About a 5 ounce package of organic baby kale
- 1 pound grilled chicken breast or chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken or 1/3 cup hemp seeds for topping
FOR THE GINGER DRESSING:
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated
- About a 1” square ginger, peeled and finely minced or grated
- ¼ cup apple cider
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 heaping tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Toss the butternut squash with a big drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few pinches of sea salt on a sheet pan and cook in preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until caramelized and lightly golden brown, turning half-way through.
- While the butternut squash cooks, whisk together the ingredients for the ginger honey vinaigrette and set aside.
- Once butternut squash is cooked, let it cool. Toss baby kale and chicken (if using) with enough salad dressing to coat (you’ll have some leftover dressing for the week). Top with 1/3 cup hemp seeds (if not using chicken) butternut squash, cranberries and pepitas. Enjoy!
SO, WHAT’S THE NUTRITION BALANCE?
This recipe has a great balance of protein (if adding chicken) carbohydrates and fat and is a balanced meal. If using hemp seeds instead, it will be a Vegan dish and lower in protein, but still a well rounded meal. You can also serve this without the chicken or hemp seeds as a side dish to your favorite proteins.