Kale & Butternut Squash Salad w/ Lemon-Tahini Dressing

kale and butternut squash salad via Chosen Bites

Over the last few years I have added a number of foods back into my diet that previously my system was not able to handle, like dairy, oats, and kale.

Kale is a great source of antioxidants, calcium, vitamin A, C, and a powerhouse source of vitamin K. It’s also chock full of minerals like potassium and iron, and a good source of natural fiber. Kale has become a bit of a fad in the last few years, and it’s been in the news a lot recently both for its health benefits and potential health pitfalls. While kale is a powerhouse source for vitamin K, which is important for calcium absorption, it also contains compounds that, ironically, can interfere with calcium absorption.

All of this is to say, I’m happy to be able to add kale back into my diet, but as with every food, my philosophy is “everything in moderation.” So, eat kale because it’s good for you, but don’t eat too much.

kale and butternut squash salad via Chosen Bites

One of may favorite ways to eat kale is raw in a salad, but wilted first with a dressing of acid (like lemon juice or balsamic vinegar), oil, and salt. There are a lot of recipes that say you need to massage the kale for a while, but I just sort of squeeze it with my hands while I’m tossing it the first time, and then just toss the rest of the time with tongs.

This salad includes one of my favorite vegetables, roasted butternut squash. I used to hate squash with inedible peel (don’t like the texture) but I have since discovered that I actually hate all squash but butternut squash. If you don’t like butternut squash, sweet potatoes would be excellent in this salad too.

Kale & Butternut Squash Salad w/ Lemon Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 head of kale
3 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
3 Tbsp prepared tahini
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup dried blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes. Smash and peel garlic cloves. Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil, spread evenly on a baking sheet, and roast at 400 for 25-30 minutes until squash is fork tender but not mushy. Remove garlic clove to a small bowl and mash with a fork. Set squash aside to cool.
  3. While squash is roasting, de-stem and slice kale into ribbons (I roll several leaves up and slice). Place kale in a large bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, salt, pepper and mashed roasted garlic, and pour over kale. Using your hands, toss to evenly coat the kale, squeezing handfuls of kale as you do this. Allow kale to sit for 30-45 minutes, tossing again every 10-15 minutes or so.
  4. When squash is cool to the touch, add to kale and toss to coat in dressing. Add dried blueberries and additional salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.
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