Fall produce = my favorite by far of all the seasons. NO, not just because of pumpkin. Sheesh, I’m not THAT basic (although the Paleo Pumpkin Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips recipe that I posted the other day may beg to differ). But seriously. What about the bagillion kinds of winter squash? Delicata, butternut, acorn, buttercup, carnival…I can’t even keep track of them all. And the apples?! Don’t even get me started. I went to school in Vermont, where apple picking was like a right of passage to be on the swim team. Many, many apple crisps were made (and gallons of ice cream stolen taken from the dining hall. Sorry not sorry, ha!) during women’s team bonding at the beginning of the year.
But what about the more forgotten produce? The bagillion kinds of kale and winter greens (some of which I don’t even know what they are!), pomegranates, colorful cauliflower, brussels sprouts, white sweet potatoes…all the goodies you’ll find at your local farmer’s market at this time of year.
I have a bone to pick with you, kale. It’s still growing on me, but I can’t eat it raw. I just can’t. For one, eating raw kale/cauliflower/brussels sprouts does not do great things for my thyroid (these vegetables are called goitrogens, and it’s recommended you avoid eating them RAW if you have thyroid issues)…but on the other hand? BLEGH. Am I right?! I mean, dinosaur kale is totally gorgeous and all, but I just can’t. It’s so incredibly bitter. But I still want to get my greens on, and I do really like it when I cook the crap out of it…
So I’m going a little outside my comfort zone here. We’re lightly sautéeing the kale, just so it wilts a little (and gets that super bitter flavor out!) and you can enjoy a nice warm salad with alllll the best flavors of fall. And that maple mustard vinaigrette? Heck to the yes. Get me some of THAT. When I developed this recipe and shot the pictures, I literally sat on the floor and ate this salad straight from the bowl. Within 5 minutes of the shoot there was no evidence I had even made this recipe at all. Sorry not sorry, it’s that good.
This is one of those recipes that comes together insanely quickly and delivers a huge flavor punch thanks to…my favorite, leftovers!! Feel free to throw in whatever you have – no leftover chicken? Try some Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage, a crumbled up burger – you pick! Got roasted butternut squash instead of delicata? Feel free to switch those up too!
Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments!
P.S. I know Thanksgiving is still far away, but wouldn’t this be an AWESOME recipe idea for leftover turkey, or even leftover squash?! Heck yeah it would!
- 3 cups coarsely chopped kale
- ¼ cup Pomegranate seeds
- ½ roasted Delicata squash(substitute any roasted fall squash you have!)
- ½ apple, sliced thin
- 2 Tbsp chopped pecans
- Optional: 4 ozleftover roast chicken (sub: chicken apple sausage, homemade breakfast sausage, a leftover burger, ground meat, etc.)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Tbsp lemon juice
- Tbsp coarse ground mustard
- Tbsp maple syrup (*Whole30 omit, substitute 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar)
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Pull all your leftovers out. First, let’s make the dressing: combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk together until well combined. Or, put everything in a mason jar with the lid on, and shake it up! Set aside.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, rinse the kale in water and squeeze it a little bit. This is called “massaging” the kale, and will get a little of the bitterness out. Place the kale in the skillet and add 1 Tbsp of your dressing.
- Cook until just slightly wilted (about 3-5 minutes) - the flavor will become less bitter.
- Transfer the kale to your serving bowl. Top with the pomegranate seeds, squash, pecans, and chicken. I like to eat this salad at room temperature, so I don’t heat up the rest of the leftovers. But you can if you like!
- Stir everything together and top with another Tbsp of your dressing. Save the rest for later!
- Eat up!