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Roasted Pumpkin, Kale and Quinoa Salad (Gluten-Free)

Roasted pumpkin kale and quinoa salad

When I grew up, a salad was simply a bunch of iceberg lettuce, maybe some tomato and cucumber, and Kraft salad dressing. Have times ever changed!  Salads are where you can let your imagination go wild. Veggies, fruit, cheese, nuts, greens… anything goes! Now that Halloween has come and gone, I was eyeing up those unsuspecting cute sugar pumpkins pondering their fate. This was it.

You can substitute butternut squash for this if you don’t have any of these pumpkins kicking around (note: you need to make sure they are the cooking pumpkins, not the carving ones).  The nice thing about the squash is that you can purchase it pre-diced which is a huge time-saver!

Pumpkin is an amazingly healthy vegetable, packed with fibre and the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene (our body converts this to vitamin A). This salad has a perfect mix of sweet, salty and crunch.  If you want to transform this into a more substantial meal add some grilled chicken, tofu or a piece of salmon to it.

Roasted Pumpkin:

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Toss all of the ingredients together and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Roast just until the pumpkin is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Cool.

Salad Dressing:

Combine the first 4 ingredients  together in a cup and whisk together.  I use an Aerolatte device (milk frother) to make my salad dressings as it is the perfect tool to get a beautifully emulsified dressing!  While whisking or whipping, slowly add the canola oil in a steady stream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Salad:

In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients above, leaving out the pumpkin seeds until just before serving. Add the roasted pumpkin (ends up being about 1 1/2 cups) and gently toss with the other ingredients. Add 1/2 of the salad dressing, toss and taste.  You may not need to add all of the dressing depending on how much you like on your salad.  Top with the pumpkin seeds just before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.