Justine works and writes from her home in Michigan. She loves to encourage others through her writing.
I'm Obsessed With This Salad!
This salad can be served warm or cold, but honestly I prefer the warm version. It has a great texture, and all of the flavors blend well. It is very filling and my best friend and I make different versions of this salad on a regular basis. We’ve become obsessed—maybe you will be too!
What’s great about this salad is that it can be made on a budget because kale really goes a long way. A bunch of kale at my local grocery store is only 99 cents and you won’t need much. Also, it keeps for a long time in the fridge, so it stays fresh far longer than lettuce. Butternut squash is another fairly cheap item which can last for several meals. Tip: To peel butternut squash use a potato peeler, then slice in half lengthwise to remove seeds and chop into cubes.
Prep Ahead for Quick Meals
I cook the ingredients ahead of time and keep them in the fridge so I can just throw this salad together on the fly. Meal prep is hard work that's why I always make extra to portion out for later in the week. Sometimes I open the fridge and I wish that an awesome snack would just appear and be waiting on me. But in reality it seems I always reach for the most unhealthy processed foods and snacks. This keeps me from snacking on junk food because it is actually satisfying to eat.
Kale is considered to be a superfood. According to Healthline.com, it's packed with vitamins and nutrients including Vitamins A, K, C, and B-6. Kale is also a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and thiamin. I've included links at the end of this article to more information about the health benefits of both kale and butternut squash.
The Perfect Whole-Meal Salad
If you are searching for something different and on the healthier side than this is the perfect salad for you. Although this version does include bacon you can omit that ingredient or add sunflower seeds or maybe croutons for an added crunch. This warm quinoa salad is great as a side dish or full meal and you can bring it to a family function in order to impress everyone with your great cooking skills. This salad is tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette that complements all the other ingredients but also tastes very well with any other dressings.
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For the salad:
- 1/2 pack bacon (about 8 pieces)
- 1/2 bunch kale
- 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash of pepper
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash of pepper
Yield: 5 to 6 large servings
- Begin by cooking the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess grease. Set aside. Save some of the grease in the bottom of the pan to cook the butternut squash.
- Season the cubed butternut squash garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until coated evenly. Place the seasoned squash in the skillet with the bacon grease. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until golden brown and soft.
- Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions. Just 1 cup of boiling water with 1/2 cup quinoa should be plenty.
- Make the dressing: Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- After thoroughly washing your kale, rip it into small pieces. Add around 4 cups of the ripped kale to a bowl or serving dish of your liking.
- Top the kale with cooked quinoa. Crumble the bacon into bits and sprinkle on top. Add the cooked butternut squash and blue cheese. Toss together with the homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Happy Healthy Eating!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do. Living a healthy lifestyle does not come easy and I hope this can help someone get a step closer.
Health Benefits of Kale and Butternut Squash
- 10 Health Benefits of Kale
This is a detailed article about kale and its health benefits. Kale is actually one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.
- Butternut Squash: Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses
Butternut squash is an orange-fleshed winter squash, celebrated for its versatility and sweet, nutty flavor. This article takes a look at butternut squash, its nutrition, health benefits, and uses.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 19, 2021:
Your recipe does sound good. I always keep quinoa in our pantry and love the versatility of using it in many different ways.