Happy Sunday guys! Today I’m bringing you this gorgeous (and maybe slightly indulgent) salad. It is so effing delicious and I even made candied pecans to go on top (hence the indulgent description). Don’t freak out, they’re the easiest candied pecans you’ve ever made…just whisk some egg whites to dunk the pecans in, then shake them up in a bag with a bit of brown sugar. Then bake. That’s it.Of course, you could use plain old pecans, but then you’d miss out on these roasty, toasty, crunchy beauts. And trust me, that’s not a party you want to skip. There is one party that you may want to skip on this salad…cutting your own butternut squash. I like having the freshest veggies, but honestly, I have no problem buying the pre-cut butternut squash to save myself the time and hassle.
You may notice in the recipe that I said that the feta cheese on top of the salad is optional. I’d say it’s highly encouraged, but alas, I think I’ve discovered that I have a serious intolerance for dairy 🙁 Some of you may know that I cut out dairy for the month of January (along with gluten and artificial sweeteners)…thus far my reintroduction of dairy has not been pretty. I’m thinking about going to go see an allergist to confirm…more to follow. But anyways, back to my point – I left the cheese out of the barcode nutrition info for mostly selfish reasons, but it’s easy enough to pick some up and add it to your MFP food log for the day!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Candied Pecans
- 1 lb raw chicken breast thinly sliced
- 8 cups chopped kale
- 2 cups butternut squash cubed
- 1/3 cup 50% less sugar dried cranberries
- 1 tsp Flavor God Garlic Lover's Seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/3 cup reduced fat feta cheese
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with SILPAT.
Add brown sugar to a plastic bag and set aside. Whisk egg white until frothy, then mix with pecan halves. Add to plastic bag and toss to coat evenly. Arrange in single layer on lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway.
Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients, then set aside in refrigerator.
Gently massage kale with a small amount of olive oil if desired. Set aside.
Once candied pecans are done, increase heat in oven to 400 degrees. Add butternut squash to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Season chicken with salt, pepper, and Flavor God seasoning on both sides.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add coconut or olive oil if desired. Add chicken and sear for 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.
Divide all ingredients evenly into 4 serving bowls.