How To: Healthy Lunch – Curry Roasted Butternut Squash, Chickpea, and Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

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It’s time to get back to reality folks.

The holiday season has come and gone, school is back in session, and vacation time is over. I must say, I really didn’t mind being at work over the past two weeks. There was no traffic, I got the best parking spots, and everyone just seemed happier.

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But today there will be tons of traffic, I will likely be parking extremely far, and the back to work blues will be setting in. At least we have this delicious salad to help us get through this rough transition back from holiday mode.

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I think this is the perfect back to reality salad – it’s loaded with all the healthy stuff you probably lacked over the past couple weeks. Kale, butternut squash chickpeas, red peppers – you know, those things we call vegetables?? But just so we don’t shock your systems, some crunchy and sweet candied nuts are thrown in and the whole things gets tossed with a creamy tahini dressing. The perfect meal to get you back into your everyday routine.

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The recipe for the candied nuts will make more than you need for this salad. So think of that as extra support to help you through this rough first week. All the components can be made ahead of time so all you have to do is assemble this salad when the time is right and you have a healthy lunch for the week ahead.

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I know this first week back will be hard, but at least you now have a delicious lunch to look forward to. Not so bad anymore is it?

Dara

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Curry Roasted Chickpea and Butternut Squash Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Serves 2-4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Website Adapted from Foodiecrush

Ingredients

Candied Nuts

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Cups walnut or pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg white (whisked)

Salad

  • 1 bunch kale (stems removed and chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • pinch salt

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tahina
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt

Note

The nuts, squash, and dressing can all be prepared ahead of time. The candied nut recipe makes double what you need for this salad so you have plenty of extra for snacking! While this salad is a meal on it's own, it's also great topped with some chopped feta or goat cheese.

Directions

Candied Nuts
1. In a small bowl combine the sugars, salt, cayenne and cinnamon. In a separate bowl mix the nuts and egg white until the nuts are coated. Add the sugar mix and toss until well coated.
2. Preheat oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out nuts evenly on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, tossing after about 20. Remove from oven and let cool. (you'll only need about half of them...feel free to snack away!)
Dressing
3. Combine all ingredients in a tupperware or mason jar and shake well until combined.
Salad
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss chickpeas and squash with oil, curry powder, cayenne, and salt. Add chickpea mixture to baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, until squash is tender. Remove and let cool.
5. In a large bowl combine kale, dried cranberries, and red pepper. Add squash mixture and 1 cup of the candied nuts and toss with dressing. Let sit for about 30 minutes before serving so the kale has some time to soften.

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