Don’t be fooled by the name “salad”. This is a warm salad that is full of all the best fall vegetables.
Part of the Paleo diet includes eating seasonally and I prepared this warm autumn salad as one of the sides at our Thanksgiving dinner.
The Fall Season
From butternut squash to kale to cranberries, this recipe is loaded with vegetables you can find at your farmer’s market late in the year. Squash tends to keep well for a couple months when stored in a cool, dry place, and cranberries can be bought ahead of time and frozen to be used all winter long.
The cranberries provide just enough tart to balance the sweet of the butternut squash (which will be made even sweeter by cooking).
It’s so good, your family members will be going back for seconds or thirds and they won’t believe how healthy it is. If they seem suspicious, just point to the kale. It has to be healthy if it has kale in it, right? ;)
Pre-Cut or Not?
You can always buy the cubed butternut squash at your local grocery store to save on time, but I find using a fresh, whole squash tastes better.
Peeling and chopping it really isn’t that hard, but it does require some strength. All you need is a sturdy vegetable peeler and a good knife and you can cube that baby yourself. Plus you’ll have the pride of knowing you vanquished the orange beast all on your own.
Why Lacinato Kale?
Lacinato kale is also known as dinosaur (dino) kale, Tuscan kale, black kale and all sorts of different combinations of those different names. It is our preferred type of kale to consume.
Recently I heard Dave Asprey talk about the fact that he chooses Lacinato kale over curly kale and was provided a scientific reason for why I typically prefer this variety.
Apparently, Lacinato kale has much lower oxalate than curly kale.
“Curly kale is just dinosaur kale that has been stressed by its environment, and has more toxins like oxalic acid.
Kale that is stressed by the environment – insect predation, fungal infestation, or draught and heat problems – will create more toxins, including oxalic acid. So pick the prettiest dinosaur kale you can find.” (Source)
When it comes to dark leafy greens, such as kale, always choose organic. That way you will reduce the amount of pesticides and chemicals you are consuming. Believe me, you will taste the difference.