Fall Kale Salad

Today is Laundry Day. Today is also my one precious day off in the week. Today is Laundry Day. I don’t like doing laundry…It takes half the day up (since I put it off for at least three weeks every time) and I have to sit in a loud, lonely laundromat to do it. But here’s the thing. We have laptops. And laptops play movies. So I can do my laundry whilst watching Gone With The Wind. I don’t have to wash my laundry on a washboard and in the river so I need to stop complaining.

The other night, for Nick and my raucous Friday night festivities, I make Fall Kale Salad. With sweet potato croutons and crispy pumpkin seeds.

Then we woke up at 6:15 on Saturday morning. Today I slept in until 8. There was a time when I would have considered the weekend wasted if I woke up before eleven with anything but a splitting headache and Regrets. Oh, to be young again……..

 

The salad was dressed in a sweet and tangy pumpkin/apple vinaigrette with walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and this luscious acorn squash on top. Delicious.

 

 

 

I cannot sing the praises of the crock pot long enough. I made the acorn squash in it, and they were quite legitimately divine. If you don’t have one…GET ONE! They’re cheap! And right now I’m making Heirloom Tomato Sauce in mine!

Anyway. With your crock pot on high, pour in 3/4 cup of apple cider. I used Trader Joe’s Spiced Cider which I recommend. Then, slice your medium sized acorn squash in half, and scoop out the insides, reserving the seeds.

Lay the squash face up in the crock, and dice 1/2 of a fuji apple. Fill the two squash (squashes…?) with the apple as well as with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, one tablespoon of maple syrup, one teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, one tablespoon of lemon juice, one tablespoon of crushed walnuts, and one tablespoon of dried cranberries. This is for both, not for one. By the By.

Lastly, put a small dollop of butter over each half, cover it up, and turn it to low. Let it cook the day away.

When the squash has cooked for at least four hours, and is smelling absurdly delicious, prep the rest of the salad. Dice up 1/2 of a peeled sweet potato and toss it in a small bowl with salt and pepper. Lay this on a greased cookie sheet, and toss the (rinsed) pumpkin seeds with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and chili powder and add them to the cookie sheet. Bake these at 410 degrees. Watch them carefully, cause they burn fast and will need to be turned ever couple of minutes.

 

 

 

 

While those cook, concoct the salad dressing. I eyeballed everything, but a rough estimate would be…2.5 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (unsweetened) 2 tablespoons of apple cider, 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, and one tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar. Add in a pinch of pepper, some cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of honey, and one teaspoon of maple syrup and you’re done. Stir it up. The best thing about this is because of the pumpkin, it doesn’t need any oil. Yes please.

Next, put your kale in a large salad bowl (I used one full bag from Trader Joe’s) and shake in a pretty generous amount of salt. Then, with a book in one hand to pass the time, massage away until the leaves are dark and tender.

 

Then, toss in some sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, walnuts, and the dressing and mix and mingle it all together. Put the Sweet Potato Croutons on top, and sprinkle some pumpkin seeds all over it, add in an acorn squash half, and you have yourself a scrumptious dinner. Also, this meal is a powerhouse of super foods. What’s to lose? Nothing, just your waistline. If you, like me, have a husband who maybe worked at a farm for twelve hours straight…you may want to add a grilled cheese to his plate. He’ll thank you for it.

 

 

 

Today, I am thankful for Pink Hunter Boots from my loving husband. Otherwise my feet would be wet, and my temper would be short.

 

Also I’m thankful for our pretty dog. Because even though she makes me crazy in the morning with her exuberant energy, she is a darling.

Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone.

Acorn Squash

1 medium acorn squash, split and scooped out

1/2 fuji apple diced

3/4 cup apple cider

1 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs maple syrup

1 tsp honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs chopped walnut

1 tbs dried cranberries

Sweet Potato Croutons

1/2 sweet potato peeled and diced

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp olive oil

(toss and cook at 410)

Pumpkin/Apple vinaigrette

2.5 tbs pumpkin puree

2 tbs apple cider

2 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tbs white balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tsp honey

1 tsp maple syrup

Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 cup (or however many are reserved) seeds

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp olive oil

Bake at 410

 

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About simplylivingwell

I am a lover of beauty, good food, health, and experience. In a world laden by student debt, health insurance fees, and never-ending bills, it is admittedly hard to succeed at anything. But by living simply, creatively, and with a certain verve, I think its possible.
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