I love Thanksgiving food! I love stuffing, mashed potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, and lots of gravy. But let’s face it – most Thanksgiving food is brown. You just need to check out the #VeganThanksgiving hashtag on Instagram and you’ll see just how drag the meal can look.
This Holiday Kale Salad is full of colors – green kale, orange roasted squash, and bright red pomegranate seeds – so it’s definitely Instagram worthy. With all of those colors come lots of nutrients. Kale, butternut squash, and pomegranate seeds are all loaded with lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients – nutrients you might not find in all of that brown food.
The Maple-Mustard Dressing is loaded with nutrients, too, as I’ve used hemp seeds as the base. Hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and they’re a good source of Vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. And this dressing is delicious, if I do say so myself. You may want to make a double batch of it, so you smother the rest of your meal in it.
I’ve added spiced roasted pecans to this salad for a little crunch, and because they’re also very nutrient-dense. These roasted pecans are so you go may want to make extra so you can snack on them later. (I have to stop myself from eating them all whenever I make this salad!)
While this kale salad is a terrific dish to serve on Thanksgiving, it also makes an excellent light autumn meal. It’s perfect for lunch the day after Thanksgiving, especially if you over-indulged a little too much the day before. With its red and green color theme, it’s a great dish to serve on Christmas, too.
Holiday Kale Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing
Add a little color to your Thanksgiving feast with this Holiday Kale Salad Maple Mustard Dressing! This dish is perfect for Christmas dinner, too.
For the Salad
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 2 teaspoons neutral vegetable oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup pecans
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate, about 1/3 cup
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch black pepper
Preheat oven to 400° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized bowl, toss the butternut squash together with the oil, salt, and pepper.
Arrange the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s tender and has browned around the edges. Flip the pieces at about the halfway point. Remove the baking sheet, and lower the oven to 300°.
In the same bowl, toss the pecans with the remaining oil, the remaining salt, garlic powder, and mustard powder.
Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet and bake at 300° for 8-10 minutes, stirring the nuts at the halfway point. Be sure to keep an eye on them, because they could burn quickly!
Mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
Place the kale in a large bowl and pour on half of the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale until the kale begins to soften. Don’t over-massage it, or it will become too mushy.
Toss in the pecans, pomegranate seeds, and roasted squash. Drizzle on the remaining dressing.
If you enjoyed this Holiday Kale Salad, you may also like these dishes:
- Creamed Kale
- Spinach-Mushroom Polenta Stuffing
- Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots and Toasted Pistachios
- Green Bean Casserole