This whole grain salad with kale and butternut squash is so delicious! The vibrant colors and varied texture will make your mouth water. The nutrient rich ingredients will make your body sit up and take notice. And the maple vinaigrette will make your taste buds sing. All in all, it’s a great meal.
Whole Grain Salad with Kale and Butternut Squash – A Delicious Hardy Meal
This is not your grandmother’s iceberg lettuce salad! This is a hardy, filling salad that offers complete protein, a boat load of nutrients and long lasting energy. You could serve it as a side, but it’s great as a meal on its own.
The Recipe for Kale and Butternut Salad
Kale and Butternut Salad with Wheatberries or Farro
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup sliced red cabbage
- 2 cups cooked wheat berries or farro
- 1/2 cup toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350° F (200°C).
- Peel butternut squash and cut into 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) cubes.Toss with canola oil, salt and pepper and arrange on large baking sheet. Roast until squash is tender and lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash and remove large stems from kale and chop into bite sized pieces.Place kale in large bowl. Toss and drizzle with lemon juiceand a pinch of salt. Soften the kale by rubbing kale leaves with lemon juiceand salt until starting to wilt, color deepens and leaves become shiny.
- To make vinaigrette combine all ingredients in a jar, sealand shake. Taste and adjust as desired. Serve on the side.
- It's up to you - toss it all together in a large bowl or arrange on large platter. To arrange on platter, place kale on platter, add whole grain in center, add squash and red cabbage around grains. Garnish with pepitas, cranberries and feta cheese.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Star Ingredients in this Whole Grain Salad
The kale provides the dark leafy greens we’re told to eat daily. By massaging it with a little salt and lemon juice before adding it to this salad, we make it tastier and more tender. But if you really don’t want to have anything to do with kale, sub in your favorite dark leafy green – spinach, beet tops, mustard greens, bok choy, micro greens, swiss chard or romaine.
The butternut squash provides the bright orange veggies we’re suppose to eat daily. It’s roasted so it’s full sweetness comes through (watch this video for how to roast butternut squash). And a final bit of colour and nutrients comes from sliced purple cabbage.
The whole grain, whether you choose farro, wheatberries, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, hulled oats or buckwheat, offers fibre, protein and B vitamins. Whole grain adds a nice chewy texture and will help keep you full longer. And when mixed with the next star ingredient, pumpkin seeds, you get a whole protein. Read how to cook whole grains.
The roasted pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) are a nutritional powerhouse offering up several vitamins and minerals in addition to fibre and protein. When you combine nuts and seeds with whole grains, you create a complete protein. But, did you know that pumpkin seeds contain all nine essential amino acids on their own? Yup, they are a complete protein on their own, so combining them with the whole grain is a bonus!
The feta cheese, dried cranberries and dressing add color, texture and amazing flavor. So tasty!
I never know how my family will react to “just salad” for dinner. We’re used to more of a meat and potato style dinner. But we’re trying more meatless dinners and want to expand our horizon. My hubby’s gung ho and thoroughly enjoyed having this hardy kale, butternut squash and farro salad for dinner. My kids weren’t convinced. There were just too many textures in this salad for them to really enjoy it. That’s okay, at least they tried it.
If you’re interested in more whole grain salads, here are some others on this website. You can easily switch the whole grain in any of these recipes. For gluten free options consider hulled oats, quinoa or buckwheat.
How about your family? I’d love to know how this whole grain salad goes over with them. Leave a comment and of course, if you make it, share a photo on Instagram and tag @getgettys so I can see it and like it!
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.