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This Butternut Squash Salad has all the components of a delicious Fall salad! With baked squash and apples, plump cranberries and delicious candied pecans, you will have a salad that has you coming back for seconds!
I have never been a big fan of salads. I talked about this in my Hemp Cucumber Tomato recipe. But every so often I come across a salad recipe that I can’t get enough off and this is definitely one of them. This Butternut Squash Salad is solely converting me over to becoming a fan of salads.
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The base of this salad is made with kale. Kale has taken the world by storm and is known as a super nutritional powerhouse. I use kale ins my Sweet Potato Kale Black Eyed Pea Soup. I personally use a lot of kale in my green smoothies. What makes kale delicious in a salad is marinating it. Massaging and marinating your kale helps breaks it down making it easier to chew and digest. It also gives it a “wilt” look as if it had been cooked. The marinate in this salad really makes this dish pops and brings it to life.
Why this recipe works?
- It’s a curvy vegan salad! Salads can be curve building friendly too! When added with high dense “fat full” foods, salad can be a delicious and healthy way to keep the curves on.
- It has candied pecans! Seriously do NOT leave out the candied pecans. I mean well you can because they are an optional part of the dish but I don’t recommend it. Not only are these Stove-Top Candied Pecans simple and easy to make, but they also add the additional calories and they are just delicious on this salad!
- Baked apples and butternut squash. I mean that just sounds super yummy! Baked apples give off a natural sweetness and the butternut squash give off an earthiness.
Here’s how to make them: (READ FULL RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR FULL INSTRUCTIONS)
I used frozen pre-chopped butternut squash to save time. Take your chopped apples and squash and seasoned them with cinnamon, brown sugar, and vegan butter. Add to a pan and bake. While butternut squash and apples are baking make your Stove-Top Candied Pecans and assemble your marinate.
Add dried cranberries to your kale and pour over your marinate. Massage your kale until greens are fully incorporated with flavor and greens are wilted down. Then you will top your salad with your baked butternut squash and Stove-Top Candied Pecans.
Vegan With Curves Star Ingredient
Kale is the Vegan With Curves star of this dish! You probably thought I was going to say pecans right? While pecans are definitely a curve building start because of its high-calorie content. But building curves is not always about macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) but also micronutrients. Minerals are CRUCIAL to your overall health and curve building journey. In fact, without the proper nutrients, your body won’t be able to perform any exercises needed to build curves. So never neglect your minerals!
This salad combines the sweetness of the candied pecans with the tartness of the apples. It makes for a great healthy side dish for the holidays! Enjoy!
Appliances and main ingredient(s) used in this recipe:
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Butternut Squash Salad With Apples, Cranberries, and Candied Pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grab a bowl and add thawed butternut squash and sliced apples. Add cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter to squash and apples. Mix and combined together. Then add apples and squash to pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake covered for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Grab a small bowl and mix together your marinade. Grab a large bowl and add kale and dried cranberries. Pour over marinade over kale and massage until wilted. Set aside.
- Check butternut squash and apples and uncover. Bake uncovered for 10 more minutes to allow butter and sugar to caramelize the squash and apples until apples and squash are browned.
- Once baked squash and apples are done set aside to cool. Then top over your salad. Optional add Stove-Top Candied Pecans for an additional crunch and sweetness.
- You can swap out vegan butter for coconut oil.
- Xylitol is a natural sugar that is low in calories, doesn't spike blood sugar, and used in many oral hygiene products as it is known to help prevent dental decay. You may substitute organic cane sugar if you don't have access to xylitol.
- This will also be great with pears!
- Nutritional information is calculated without Stove-Top Candied Pecans. If you add them to your salad, you can find the nutritional information HERE.
Equipment used for photos:
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