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Eat Well Sep. 23. 2013
Salads

Fall Harvest Superfood Salad

Sep. 23. 2013
Salads
McKel Hill

McKel Hill

MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian

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
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • 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.

 

Fall Harvest Superfood Salad
Cuisine: salad
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A hearty salad celebrating the flavors of a fall harvest with superfood status nutrition.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups organic kale, chopped and “massaged”
  • 1 cup butternut squash, roasted and diced
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fuji apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 1 juice of a fresh lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, to drizzle
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the KALE as follows//
  2. 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.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the de-stemmed kale leaves with the sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil (1 tablespoon).
  4. Lightly coat your hands in olive oil by mixing the kale with your hands.
  5. Using a massaging action (similar to kneading bread dough), start to tear the leaves apart and massage.
  6. Continue massaging for about 2-5 minutes or until the leaves are softened, the leaves will also turn a more vibrant green.
  7. Kale is now finished, set off to the side.
  8. Cook quinoa to package directions.
  9. Roast butternut squash at 450 degrees F for 40 minutes or until soft.
  10. 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.
  11. ASSEMBLY//
  12. Simply mix all the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl.
  13. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
  14. Enjoy!
Serving size: 1/4th recipe Calories: 400 Fat: 17 Carbohydrates: 50 (net 44) Sugar: 6 Fiber: 6 Protein: 14
Notes
Lower carbohydrate option // decrease the quinoa, fruit, or goji berries.[br]High protein option // add more lean protein of your choice.[br]Lower fat option // decrease the oil, nuts, or seeds. [br]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!

Happy harvesting,

xo McKel

The Recipe

Serves 4

Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups organic kale, chopped and “massaged”
  • 1 cup butternut squash, roasted and diced
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fuji apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 1 juice of a fresh lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, to drizzle
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the KALE as follows//
  2. 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.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the de-stemmed kale leaves with the sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil (1 tablespoon).
  4. Lightly coat your hands in olive oil by mixing the kale with your hands.
  5. Using a massaging action (similar to kneading bread dough), start to tear the leaves apart and massage.
  6. Continue massaging for about 2-5 minutes or until the leaves are softened, the leaves will also turn a more vibrant green.
  7. Kale is now finished, set off to the side.
  8. Cook quinoa to package directions.
  9. Roast butternut squash at 450 degrees F for 40 minutes or until soft.
  10. 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.
  11. ASSEMBLY//
  12. Simply mix all the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl.
  13. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
  14. Enjoy!

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • I LOVE this! I cringe at the term “superfood” as well because I feel like so many plain ole fruits and veggies are pretty super AND approachable! I’d rather eat something like this than hunt down Camu Camu powder to mix with an exotic jungle peanut 😉 But this dish looks so delicious, anyway. I’m looking forward to trying it!

    • Wonderful! I’m so glad you like this- it’s such a great nutrient dense salad, perfect for a meal or a side dish. Let me know how you like it 😉

  • This sounds tasty? Where do you buy goji berries? Would Whole Foods or Trader’s Joes carry them?

  • Fabulous salad & definitely adding it to my fall salad line-up! One of my favorites for fall is my acorn squash stuffed w/ quinoa cherry pumpkin pilaf. Oh…I’m getting so hungry now 🙂

    • Thank you! It’s one of my favorite go-to’s in the fall season. Full and satisfying 😉 That favorite of yours is making me hungry as well!

  • MMmmm this looks good! I think goji berries are missing from my life, and I want to include them more! Oh, one little thing: under “ingredients” you have red cabbage, but I think you meant red onion? Red cabbage might be good too, though!

    • Thank you! This is a great recipe for the fall- thanks for catching that, I do actually have both red cabbage and red onion in the salad but somehow red onion was MIA. Thank you:)

  • Kathy

    I made this last week and ate it every single night! Love

  • This is such an amazingly healthy recipe. I am not a huge fan of the taste of raw kale but I think that your method of preparing the kale may lessen the bitterness. I will try this method. I may also make this salad with spinach instead of Kale. Thanks for the get ideas, beautiful pictures and detailed info.

    • Thank you! Yes, kale raw can be a little bitter or unpleasant to some-this method really makes it wonderful! Hope you enjoy, and come back again 🙂

  • Amber

    Thank you, Mckel. This was great. I read about massaging the kale but had never tried. I made this for my boyfriend and me, he’s vegan, I’m not, and we both loved it. It was really delicious.

    • Hi Amber, I’m glad both you and your boyfriend enjoyed this one! It’s great for everyone as you can add whatever protein you’d like on top of it to make it more of a meal. Thanks for your feedback and stopping by. Hope to see you around again!

  • Simsy

    Hey mckel

    Just a quick question what do you mean when you say kale is “massaged”?

    • Hi Simsy,
      Great question- be sure to click on the link within that post where I say “check back here…” for the full recipe on my massaged kale salad. It’s a process to make raw kale edible! Hope you enjoy 😉

  • victorious

    Awesome! I”stumbled” across this site looking for anti-inflammatory recipes for a friend. I believe you are called to bring these great nutrient dense recipes to us. So glad! Happy New Year! 🙂

    • Happy New Year to you as well, hope you enjoy my recipes which are all very anti-inflammatory!

  • Pep

    Holy Apples this is so delicious! I’ve been making it for work lately and I am the envy of the staff room! It was the first of your recipes I have tried since stumbling across your amazing website! Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes and nutrition information, I am looking forward to trying out many of the other recipes … starting with the miso bowl tonight! x

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