YIELD: 1 salad
First, roast the butternut squash. To do this, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F while you peel and chop the squash into bite size cubes. Place the cubes on a sheet try lined with parchment paper. Toss the cubes in the oil and spices, Spread the cubes out so they each have plenty of space and are not overlapping. Roast the squash for 40-60 minutes or until they edges are slightly brown and toasty. Make sure the squash is still firm when pierced, so it does not fall apart when you mix up the salad. Cool to room temperature while you assemble the rest of the salad.
To assemble the salad, first add the kale to a large bowl and drizzle with oil. Massage the oil into the kale really well, making sure that every single piece is coated thoroughly. This step is very important, it will make the kale easier to chew and digest and allow you to have a more enjoyable eating experience. Set the kale aside for at least 15-20 min.
Next, top the kale with the chicken, cranberries, pecans, 4 oz of the roasted butternut squash and goat cheese. Drizzle with balsamic dressing and season well.
Toss all together and enjoy!
This salad 100% tastes like Thanksgiving. Let me tell you, if its Spring and your looking for some Holiday cheer, you just found it. I am a huge fan of "gobbler" sandwiches, you know, the one's where you take turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mayo, put it all on a huge roll and go to town. This salad is reminiscent of that sandwich and gives you that same type of nostalgia.
Kale have never been my absolute favorite of all the green salad bases, but once I discovered using the oil to make it more digestible, I have been adding it more and more into my salad rotation. Do not even get me started on butternut squash. Listen, I would take sweet potatoes over butternut squash any day, BUT roasted to taste like pumpkin pie??? Call me a convert.
I would say this salad is at least worth a try. You can easily sub out chicken for turkey, if you want that true Thanksgiving vibe. Or even leave the meat out all together is that's your thing. Most other veggies cannot even touch the nutrition benefits of butternut squash. Butternut squash is an excellent source of provitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. So, eat that rainbow and add orange to your plate with this killer salad.
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