I’ve been in Austin a few months now and there have been very few rainy days but when it does rain, I can’t help but be in a cozy kind of mood. A natural Seattleite version of being cozy means putting on a fuzzy Patagonia and curling up on the couch with a steaming bowl of soup, but here in Austin when it’s still warm while it’s raining, my version of being cozy takes on the form of a warm salad. Yes, I meant to type warm salad. Technically not all of it is warm, but the dark green and hearty lacinato kale topped with freshly roasted root vegetables makes eating a salad in the rain a new kind of warm and comfy mood. (Weird food fact: I don’t like liquid foods i.e soups, smoothies, etc…The minute I woke up from getting my tonsils removed, I immediately craved steak. So like a good mother, my mom chopped up steak into little tiny pieces so I wouldn’t have to eat jello, soups, anything liquid. Another reason I have the best mom!)
The great thing is that when I cook, I don’t typically measure out what I’m doing. The not so great part is when I’m trying to write recipes post-meal. The great thing about making a salad is it’s hard to go wrong! With a base of dark greens, roasted fall veggies, and delicious vinaigrette, your toppings is a fun place to get creative. Different nuts and seeds, grains, fruits and cheeses all work well with this salad. When you have some time on your hand, I challenge you to grab some ingredients you think might taste good together and experiment. The worst that could happen is you have extra yummy flavors on your salad!
Roasted Veggie Kale Salad
- 4 cups handfuls of lacinato kale
- 6 oz Hannah yam cut into 1" cubes
- 6 oz butternut squash cut into 1" cubes ( I used Trader Joe's butternut squash zig-zags)
- 1/2 red onion
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 3 lemons juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/3 cup goat milk cheddar shaved
- 1/4 cup pecans toasted (optional)
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose seasoning apart from my dad's seasoning, I like to use Paleo Powder Everyday Seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- If your kale is not washed, clean, and cut, do so and make sure all excess water is patted dry. Place in large salad bowl.
- In a medium bowl, toss cubed squash, red onion, and yams in 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle on seasoning.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place vegetables in a single layer on the lined sheet.
- Roast vegetables for 15 min. in oven.
- While vegetables are roasting, in a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Pro tip: Create your dressing in the bottom of the bowl you will be tossing salad in. Less dishes and more efficient salad making!
- Next, toss dressing with kale and using hands, massage kale with dressing to make sure it gets into all the leaves. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. (It takes a few minutes for the acid from the lemon to break down the raw kale and using your hands makes sure you get the perfect ratio of dressing and leafy crunch in your bite.)
- Take veggies out of oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Once the veggies have cooled slightly, place veggies on top of kale, then finish with cheddar and pecans.
- Serve immediately.