Butternut Squash Apple Harvest Salad

Thanksgiving is traditionally known as the one time a year that most of us indulge and enjoy LOTS of casseroles.  From my Mother-in-lawas swiss green bean casserole, to sweet potato, to my Dad’s pineapple casserole, you name it, we are eating it!

There’s always room to ad in a few healthy options too and today I’m sharing a butternut squash apple harvest salad. This salad is full of healthy delicious ingredients and if you are anything like me, I’ll feel a tad less guilty eating casseroles if I’m also eating some kale…can I get an AMEN?!

This salad isn’t just great for Thanksgiving, it’s a great option all fall and winter long.  I know you’ll enjoy this one as much as we do!

Butter Squash Apple Harvest Salad

  • 1 package of microwave/sauté ready squash
  • 2 cups of kale leaves (more if serving a larger crowd)
  • 2 Gala apples chopped into cubes (or your favorite apple…preferably sweet)
  • 3/4 cups of cooked quinoa (I used trip-color boil in the bag quinoa but any kind will do)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (you can sub pecans for any other nut that you may like)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds also known as pepitas (these can be found in produce, typically packaged and placed near other nuts, dried fruit, etc)

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinager
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • a hearty pinch of salt

Creating this beautiful healthy salad is simple.  First you will want to wash the kale, pat the leaves dry with paper towels, place in a bowl and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Massage the oil gently into the kale leaves as this will soften the leaves and bring out some of the sweetness as well.  Sauté your butternut squash in a little bit of olive oil until tender.  Cook the quinoa according to package directions…I use the trip-color boil in bag quinoa, it’s just so easy to make.  You can make your dressing while the quinoa is cooking or you can make it ahead of time, refrigerate it, and then have it ready to serve.

Once your butternut squash and quinoa have finished cooking, you will place the kale leaves into your serving bowl, add the squash, quinoa, and all other toppings.  Finally dress your salad with the prepared apple cider vinaigrette, toss, and serve.

I hope you enjoy this delicious harvest salad!  Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

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