I cannot claim inventing this brilliant combination of flavors in salad form. But I will claim devouring a whole bowl of it at Tacolicious and loving it so much I had to recreate it.
A good, interesting salad for lunch is how I justify all the sweets I crave [read: chocolate chip cookie dough]. But it’s gotta be hearty enough, a wimpy salad won’t cut it. Even better is a salad I can make for lunch or dinner. This one accomplishes both from a combination of textures going on…
First is the roasted butternut squash..don’t fear it’s easy. It will happily roast on its own while you do other stuff.
While the squash is in the oven you’ll cook some quinoa on the stovetop. One part quinoa to two parts water, 20 min.
And then there will be chopping. It’s sorta kinda a lot of chopping. Call me crazy, but the chopping is therapeutic for me. The cabbage is best sliced on a mandolin. The left was with my knife, the right on the mandolin. If your knife is super sharp, you probably can pull it off. Just get it really, really thin.
The kale is easy with a knife. You’ll rip the leaves off the stem and then cut the ribbons.
Slice the carrots thin, they add a fabulous pop of color. Cut the apple about the same size. You’ll toss it all together with the dressing and boom. Salad. Not wimpy.
Add a nice grilled piece of chicken if you crave protein as I do. Or add a crusty loaf of bread if you crave the carbs like my man does. This recipes serves four, so the best part is we’ll make it for dinner and then enjoy another serving for lunch the next day. My favorite trick is to pack it for lunch in a mason jar with the dressing at the bottom. The kale and cabbage are hearty enough they won’t get soggy. And then shake it in the jar to evenly distribute when you’re ready to eat.
Kale & Purple Cabbage Salad with Butternut Squash
(inspired by Tacolicious)
Prep Time: 60 minutes
- 1 bundle dino kale
- 1/4 head of purple cabbage
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 cup white quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 pink lady apple (or any sweet/tart apple)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- (optional) 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- (optional) 1 crusty loaf of bread
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Peel butternut squash, remove seeds and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender. The butternut squash is best not overcooked. Fork tender, but with a firm texture.
- Add quinoa and water to a small pot, bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 20 min until fluffy.
- Slice your cabbage. Slice your kale. Combine in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Toss with lemon juice to allow the kale and cabbage to tenderize.
- Slice your carrots thinly, add to bowl.
- Cut your apple into chunks, add to bowl.
- Add your cooked quinoa.
- When your butternut squash has cooled. Add to bowl.
- To make the dressing, in a small bowl combine apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard and ground cumin (do not add olive oil yet). Whisk to combine. Then while whisking, slowly add the extra virgin olive oil. Keep whisking until all has been added, this is the emulsification process that makes the dressing nice and creamy.
- Toss salad with dressing (to taste). *If you want to reserve some of the salad for lunch, reserve equal amounts of the dressing to keep it from getting soggy.
- Add pine nuts to a small skillet on medium heat, stirring frequently until golden, about 3 min.
- Sprinkle on top of the salad and serve!