Winter Salad of Kale, Butternut Squash & Feta with a Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
New Year’s resolutions are fresh on all our minds! It just seems to be the nature of ends. As one year comes to an end, our perspective seems to shift as we slow down our pace and start to rethink how we are living life. I find myself confronted with where my priorities lie and where I have actually been investing my time. Personally, I am big on tackling small goals that can add up to impactful results. It’s not that I am not a fan of lofty notions like “start living life rather than waiting to live” or such, but I am a pragmatist way deep down. I like breaking things down into palatable pieces that will eventually build up to true change. A ton of my personal resolutions usually circle around my roles of mama, wife, daughter, sister and friend….but self-care has increasingly made it’s way up my list. After all, how can I improve as a mama, wife, daughter, sister, and friend if I am not healthy and whole myself?!?
Maybe you have guessed by now, but healthful eating and eating at home are two very pragmatic goals of mine in this new year. Eating fresh colorful food, as often as possible, will have such a crazy, impactful effect on my life. As long as I can keep it bold in flavor, healthy eats will win out over fast and convenient almost every time. This salad is a perfect example: gluten free, full of nutrients, and loaded with flavor! It has some of the best winter ingredients like baby kale, cranberries, feta, sliced almonds and roasted delicata squash.
If delicata squash is new to you, let me introduce you to a favorite of mine. This sweet squash is so delicious. The skin is so tender that I do not even bother with peeling the squash before dicing it up for roasting. Keep your dice on the small side and then roast it at 425F to get a crispy exterior. These delicious little squash bites make a great stand-in for croutons! Gluten free and chockfull of minerals and vitamins! Win-win!
Toss together the baby kale, feta, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and the roasted delicata squash. I have included my honey dijon vinaigrette recipe below for the perfect sweet and tangy finish to this salad!
Ohhhh, today is going to be an easy one when it comes to eating healthy. Bring on the flavor!
The winter and fall flavors of kale, cranberry and delicata squash make for a showstopper salad when dressed with homemade honey dijon vinaigrette.
- 1 bag baby kale
- 2 delicata squash (or one large butternut squash) cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup feta
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Place your cubed squash onto a foil lined cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sean the squash with salt and bake it a 425F until crispy and tender (about 15-20 minutes).
Make the dressing while the squash is roasting. Begin by adding the white wine vinegar, honey, dijon and salt into a medium sized bowl. Whisk it all together and then continue to whisk furiously while you add the olive oil in a steady, small stream until all the vinaigrette is thickened and emulsified. (Option: If you do not want to whisk furiously, then use a food processor and add the olive oil in a slow steady stream while the machine whirs away!)
Now, assemble the salad with the kale, roasted squash, cranberries, feta cheese, and almonds. Dress it with the honey dijon vinaigrette and serve. I LOVE this salad!