It's officially October and that means all things pumpkin flavored are everywhere (often food and drinks loaded with added sugar ...). Whether you are Team Pumpkin Spice or think it is overkill, this recipe is definitely worth it. First off, it actually uses real pumpkin. Yep, this recipe focus on the vegetable in it's natural form! You can easily swap in another winter squash like butternut squash (which conveniently comes pre-peeled and chopped in most produce section of the grocery store) or delicata squash would be lovely too.
Pumpkin, like sweet potatoes and carrots, is a great source of vitamin A, other minerals and antioxidants. Eating foods rich in vitamin A is a great way to support your eye health, boost your immune system, and may lower your risk from certain types of cancer like lung and prostate. Using a dark leafy green like kale as the base for the salad gives you an extra boost of antioxidants and fiber to support heart health and your immune system.
We have been enjoying this salad paired with grilled chicken, salmon or pork chops. You can easily keep it vegetarian with some low carbohydrate protein choices like topping it with a fried egg or roasted tofu cubes. Feel free to skip the candied pecans if you want to lower the overall sugar amount in the recipe. Chopped raw pecans are just as lovely as a salad topper.
Roasted Pumpkin & Pecan Salad recipe
Serves: 6 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
For the salad:
10 oz. (280g) kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt to taste
1.5 oz. (40g) goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup (30g) dried cranberries
For the pumpkin:
1.5 lbs. (680g) pumpkin, peeled and cubed (approx. ½ pumpkin)
1½ tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
For the pecans:
1 cup (125g) pecans
⅓ cup (40g) pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. honey
⅛ tsp. salt
For the dressing:
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
- Place the kale into a large bowl and massage the olive oil and salt into the leaves for 3-4 minutes, then set aside.
- Place the pumpkin onto one of the baking sheets and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated. Place the baking sheet into the hot oven and roast for 20-25 minutes.
- Place the pecans and pumpkin seeds in a medium bowl, drizzle with honey, season with salt, then toss until evenly coated and spread out evenly onto the second baking sheet. Roast in the hot oven for 8-10 minutes.
- Make the dressing by adding all of the dressing ingredients together into a bowl or jar. Mix well to combine.
- To make the salad, add the goat’s cheese, cranberries, kale, toasted seeds and nuts, and pumpkin into a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine and serve immediately.
Nutrition info per serving: 23 grams of carbs