Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad

This hearty, heartwarming salad is delish as a side dish or even as a full meal. It’s also a great base recipe to experiment with—feel free to swap out the quinoa with another healthy grain, like farro, freekeh, or barley. You can also swap out the kale for arugula, the apple for pear, or the pepitas for walnut or pecan pieces. Make it your own and get creative with your cooking! Serves 6

1 kabocha squash, halved, quartered and thinly sliced into ½-inch moons

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ cups cooked quinoa

2 cups curly kale leaves, tough stems removed, finely chopped

1 Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, cored and sliced into 3/4 –inch pieces

¼ cup raw pepitas

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, toss the squash slices with the olive oil until well coated. Spread the squash out in an even layer across the baking sheet, making sure each piece is touching the surface of the pan to ensure even browning. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, then flip the squash and roast for another 20 minutes on the opposite sides. When the squash is fork-tender, remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the squash is roasting, make the salad: To a large bowl, add the apple cider vinaigrette, quinoa, and kale and toss gently to coat. Add the slightly cooled squash, apple slices, and pepitas to finish. Toss well to coat and serve immediately at room temperature.

APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar is so good for you in so many ways—from stimulating your circulation to clearing up breakouts. It is also adds a slightly sweet tang to any dressing. I love it paired with a bit of mustard and honey—delish. Yields 3. ounces

¼ cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon manuka honey or maple syrup

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until well combined. Store the dressing in a resealable glass jar, in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks.