You all know I LOVE my salads, and especially the king green, kale! Today I wanted to share one of my favorite salads perfect for fall and utilizing the best ingredients of the season including butternut squash, kale, apples, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, toasted walnuts, lemon, and cooked quinoa. Introducing the Fall Harvest Superfood Salad. This salad is hearty enough to be an entree with all of these great components such as healthy fats, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates; but also perfect as a side dish alongside a meal.
Why superfood? The word “superfood” has received attention the past five years or so with exotic and unfamiliar foods such as goji berries, raw cacao nibs, dragon fruit, noni juice and much more, hitting the mainstream. Also let’s not forget to mention listed in every major magazine with the title “must have foods to eat of 2013″ “get slim with these superfoods”, and so on. So what makes a food super? In my book ALL raw/fresh fruits and vegetables are super foods in their own way. That’s right, I don’t discriminate any fruit or vegetable as being less super than another as they all have amazing health benefits. Although…they’re some out there who should get an A+ in the nutrient density department. One of them being goji berries…and kale…and pumpkin seeds…and walnuts…and quinoa…and red onion… okay many ingredients in this recipe! Hence why I call this salad the Fall Harvest Superfood Salad.
All of the ingredients in this recipe contribute to having great nutrition and health benefits such as anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, weight management, skin/eye/hair health, detoxifying benefits, bone health, cancer prevention, and of course, this salad tastes amazing! Be sure to read of kales health benefits here from a previous post.
Superfood nutrient breakdown of FALL HARVEST SUPERFOOD SALAD |
- Vitamin A } especially from the kale and butternut squash
- Vitamin C } each ingredient especially goji berries
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B (s)
- Minerals } magnesium, zinc, manganese, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper
- Antioxidants galore
- Anti-inflammatory components
- Caretonoids and flavonoids
- Healthy fats } pumpkin seeds, toasted walnuts, olive oil
Of course the ingredients in the recipe are flexible! If you’re not a big fan of walnuts, use almonds. If you don’t like dried goji berries, try golden raisins. If you want to make this salad an entree, I’d add extra protein in the form of grilled chicken, beans, hard boiled eggs, tempeh, edamame, tofu, or increase the walnuts and pumpkin seeds. This is a perfectly versatile salad for everyone in the family- have fun with it and use the ingredients you have on hand.
- 4 cups organic kale, chopped and "massaged"
- 1 cup butternut squash, roasted and diced
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- ½ cup red cabbage, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup fuji apple, diced
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup goji berries
- 1 juice of a fresh lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, to drizzle
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt (to taste)
- Prepare the KALE as follows//
- De-stem the kale leaves from the stem by simply placing your index finger and middle finger (in the shape of a claw), and “claw” down the center of the leaf to de-stem while simultaneously pulling the leaf away from you with your other hand.
- In a large bowl, combine the de-stemmed kale leaves with the sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil (1 tablespoon).
- Lightly coat your hands in olive oil by mixing the kale with your hands.
- Using a massaging action (similar to kneading bread dough), start to tear the leaves apart and massage.
- Continue massaging for about 2-5 minutes or until the leaves are softened, the leaves will also turn a more vibrant green.
- Kale is now finished, set off to the side.
- Cook quinoa to package directions.
- Roast butternut squash at 450 degrees F for 40 minutes or until soft.
- Pan toast walnuts on a skillet- no added oils. Simply toss around for about 2-5 minutes and keep a close eye on them as they tend to burn quickly.
- Simply mix all the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
High protein option // add more lean protein of your choice.
Lower fat option // decrease the oil, nuts, or seeds.
Any alternations will change the nutrition information presented.
TIP // you can serve this salad warm right after mixing all the ingredients together (including the warm roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts, and cooked quinoa.
What’s your favorite fall dish or salad? Share below I’d love to hear what’s on your menu for this season!