This Kale & Quinoa Salad with caramelised squash, chickpeas and a spicy avocado dressing is my new obsession. It’s creamy, spicy, crunchy and packed full of goodness. The kale is wilted in an avocado dressing, and mixed in with crunchy roasted cumin chickpeas, sweet butternut squash, quinoa and toasted cashew nuts. The perfect, balanced salad.
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and the King of greens. It’s an amazing source of iron, having calorie for calorie more iron than beef! It’s an amazing source of immune boosting antioxidants and a powerful anti-inflammatory, which both protect the body against free radicals and disease. Kale also contains a wealth of calcium, calorie for calorie even more than milk! This helps maintain strong and health bones and prevents against bone weakness and osteoporosis. Kale is a great source of fibre making it a perfect detox food.
4 cups kale (around 60g, half a bag of kale)
1/2 cup butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 ripe avocado
1/2 tablespoon tamari
Squeeze of lime
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (some may be stronger, or weaker so this is to taste)
Toasted cashews (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F/190C.
Add your chickpeas and squash into a roasting tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil, tamari cumin, and salt. Roast in the oven for around 45 minutes, tossing at 15 minute intervals to make sure they are evenly cooked.
Meanwhile put 1/2 cup of quinoa into a pan with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, boil for around 20 minutes, adding more water if needed. Leave on the side to cool.
Now de-stem the kale, and place it all in a large bowl.
For the dressing you can either blend it all up in a blender or do it by hand. If you decide, like I always do, that you can’t be faffed to clean out your blender you’re going to have to mash the avocado very well! Scoop the flesh out into a bowl and mash the avocado until there are very few pieces left. Pour in the tamari, lime, sesame oil and chilli powder to taste.
Scoop the dressing into the bowl with the kale, and it’s time to get your hands dirty! Massage the dressing into the kale for around 3-5 minutes until the kale leaves are soft, and look almost wilted.
When all your other components are done, mix them in.Topping it of with some toasted cashews, if you chose!