My vegan Detox Roasted Delicata Squash, Pardina Lentil, and Kale Salad with Maple-Pear Balsamic Vinaigrette is as delicious as it is healthy!
Happy New Year, dear Readers! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and took the opportunity to nourish your body and also indulge when you wanted to (life is too short not to enjoy it, am I right?).
I’m guessing you’re probably all sugared out and perhaps a bit tired of eating such rich foods…and hopefully ready for some veggie-laden lighter dishes! Let’s start with this salad, which is a full meal in itself.
So, first things first. I like to eat what people think of as “healthy” most of the time. But the caveat is that what I eat has to taste good. Unfortunately, there are just some super healthy things I cannot get on board with, one of them being sardines. I know that they’re rich with omega-3s and supposedly amazing for you, but I can’t gag them down, so that’s a deal-breaker for me. (No worries, I get my healthy fats elsewhere!) But you know exactly what I’m talking about if a certain food is off-limits for you because you literally just can’t choke it down.
My point is that in the end, a food is useless to me if I can’t eat it, so let me assure you, this salad is fabulously delicious in addition to being nourishing and good for detoxing the body. Buttery deliciata squash, nutty roasted squash seeds, sweet/tart pomegranate arils, and a quick homemade maple-pear balsamic vinaigrette make this kale-based salad come to life, and lentils add a boost of fiber, protein, iron, folate, and manganese. (If you're interested, you can read about the health benefits of kale on Mind Body Green.) This is one salad that is as delicious as it is nourishing!
If you’re looking for more delicious and nourishing recipes, I have more inspiration for you…
And here are a few more ideas from around the internet…
- Apple Radish Slaw with Honey Lime Jalapeno Vinaigrette from The Lemon Bowl
- Carrot, Cumin, and Ginger Detox Soup from Not Quite Nigella
- Roasted Garlic Kale Hummus from Recipe Girl
- Stacked Beet Salad with Crispy Shallots and Herb-Infused Oil from Heartbeet Kitchen
- Winter Citrus, Escarole, and Endive Salad from Cooking Light
- 3 tablespoons good-quality pear balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 (10 oz/285 g) bunch of kale, rinsed, stems removed, and chopped small
- ⅔ cup dry pardina lentils, rinsed and drained (see Note)
- 3 tablespoons fresh pomegranate arils
- 1 medium (about 1 lb/450 g) Delicata squash, halved length-wise, de-seeded (seeds reserved for roasting), and sliced across into about ⅓-inch thick slices
- 1½ tablespoons avocado oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ to ⅓ cup Delicata squash seeds, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Stir in the onion and kale and set aside so the kale can tenderize and absorb the flavors of the dressing.
- For the lentils, add the dry lentils to a medium saucepan and fill it ⅔ full with water. Cover the saucepan, bring it to a boil, and then cock the lid and turn the heat down slightly so it doesn’t boil over. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes, and then drain well.
- While the lentils cook, roast the squash. For the roasted squash, preheat the oven to 425F. Toss together the squash, oil, salt, and pepper, and spread it out onto a baking sheet. Roast until golden on both sides, about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Set aside.
- For the squash seeds, preheat the oven 325. Toss the seeds together with the oil, salt, and pepper, and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 15 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir the lentils into the kale mixture and spoon this onto a serving dish. Top with the roasted squash, pomegranate arils, and toasted squash seeds (or pumpkin seeds).