Warm Apple and Butternut Squash Salad with Sugared Pecans

 Image from smells-like-home.com

Image from smells-like-home.com

I don't know about you, but the holidays make me want to eat all the things. Especially all the things that are sweet, or fattening, or both. It's hard to stick to eating well, but eating well gives us all that extra energy we so desperately need!

This salad, while sounding very fancy and healthy, is my middle-of-the-road answer to those cravings. It is loaded with good-for-you fats and antioxidants, but also has a bit of that naughty sweetness to keep you coming back for more. 

I saw a lot of similar recipes on Pinterest; this one is very similar, but I adapted based on our tastes and what we had on hand. A couple of hints: buy the pre-cut bagged kale. Saves a step! Also, you can very easily make this allergy friendly. Omit nuts and add some seeds or granola for crunch if there is a nut allergy. Use Earth Balance dairy-free/soy-free spread or coconut oil instead of butter for a dairy allergy. To make it almost as sweet but a lot more healthy, use maple syrup instead of the butter/brown sugar mix. Also, it's super flexible...no exact measurements required!

Ingredients:

  • Half a cup of pecans
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 small apples, cubed
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and torn into pieces

To Make:

  • Place apple and squash into a baking pan; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with brown sugar. Place in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.
  • Place kale in a large bowl, add a little bit of olive oil and salt, and 'massage' for about one minute. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan. Mix in remaining brown sugar and add pecans. Stir until sugar is melted and pecans are coated, but so you still have a bit of creaminess.
  • Mix the apples and squash in with the kale, then pour the pecan mixture over the kale and mix lightly.
  • Add in anything else you like...dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds (my favorite!), sunflower seeds, goat cheese...you could make a dressing for this, but it really doesn't need one. There's enough sweetness from the butter/sugar mixture that is more than enough!

Enjoy...and don't feel too guilty about this one!

 

 

Alisha Meador

Alisha Meador is mother to 2 wonderful and wild little boys. She has an obsession with all things British, is an aspiring writer, amateur yogi and pretty decent backyard homesteader. She is so thankful for this motherhood community.