Fall Kale Butternut Squash and Pear Salad with a Cider Viniagrette 

We’re now past Halloween but I’m still in the pumpkin mood. I loved this display at the Sprouts a couple weeks back. I even pick up a few for the front door – obviously they were the edible kind. And because Halloween is past I’m thinking of baking up a few of my pumpkins  – hopefully I’ll get a couple new recipes.

I dreamt of this salad when I was trying to figure out something else to do with a kale salad that wasn’t savory. Then it hit me – squash doesn’t need to be savory (although sage and squash is pretty tasty). And wanting another more tender alternative to apple, I turned to the pear. If you’re looking for a fresh bite of fall, this definitely hits the spot and you can do it warm too.

Notable Nutrition – Kale/dark green and squash. Both have fantastic vitamin A. So this salad is a treasure trove of that all too important for hair, skin, and nail nutrient.

Kale, Butternut Squash and Pear Salad

Serves 4 large salads

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of curly kale, chopped fine
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 Bartlett pears, diced
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 1/3 c chopped, toasted walnuts

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 c olive oil

Directions

  1. Peel, de-seed, and cube butternut squash (dice size). Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet and roast squash at 375F for 30 minutes or until soft and can be pierced with a fork.
  2. In a mason jar, mix the vinaigrette ingredients and shake to combine.
  3. In a large bowl toss together the finely chopped kale, pears, squash, and cranberries.
  4. Plate the salad, sprinkle with walnuts (divided between plates), and drizzle with vinaigrette.

In other news, at the beginning of November C and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary. It’s been a good few years – lots of travel and adventure (one of the things we both like best to do with each other), growth as people (me, I’ve definitely grown to accept that someone else can help take care of me sometimes), learning each others quirks, and finding how to best compliment each other. I don’t think complete would be the right word because we were both very whole people when we met (and wouldn’t have worked if we weren’t) – very individualistic. And one of the things I still really value is our ability to remain individuals and know that we don’t need to have the same hobbies and activities.

Although I will always contest that we make our own decisions and that you can rebel against fate, I do have to believe some people were meant to come into your life for some purpose or period of time. Throughout my life I’ve met some people that upon a closer look have nearly met at different times (usually at opposite sides of the country). C happens to be one of those people where the 4th time was the charm. In chronological order – both had plans/dreams of doing undergrad at Johns Hopkins 04/05(we both made other decisions), we both almost moved to Boston in 08/09 (again life took us other places), while life took me to UIUC – it also took one of C’s good friends there for grad school where C happened visit and be at an event I distinctly remember running past one Saturday (but I didn’t stop that day), and finally life took us both to Albuquerque. I think life is funny sometimes.

Have you ever had any weird “should have met” coincidences?

One of our next adventures will be to Portland. Any advice on places to eat?

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