Kick your kale into high gear!

Do me a favor right now and take a BIG DEEP BREATH.  (It's OK, I'll wait.)  Now one more.  Feels pretty good, right?  That's the deepest thing we are going to do today.  Recently, I've been talking a lot about fear, competition, empowerment and all that totally rad, transformational kinda stuff.  And though we've got to dig deep to see things shift, sometimes you just want an easy button.  Wish GRANTED!  There is to be no deep soul searching, no bow-to-Buddha breakthroughs and no how-does-that-make-you-feel moments today.  Today, it's all about a straight forward, kick your kale into high gear recipe! 

Now I'm sure you are familiar with kale, right?  It's like so totally the new spinach!  Kale is all over the health pop charts for it's power packed punch of antioxidants and super green goodness.  It is seriously all the rage which means if you aren't on the kale train, it's time to hop on my friends.

Now, there are two types of kale eaters out there in foodie land. Those that like it straight up (that would be the green freaks like me) and those that prefer it hidden (that would be everyone else).  The brilliance of the recipe I've got for you today is that it covers everyone's bases.  (Doesn't that just feel SO good!)

This dish is the perfect balance of both worlds as it pairs marinated, raw kale with roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions.  YES, please!  While the kale curious might usually prefer their kale submerged in soup so as to avoid the "healthy hippie" taste, the sweet richness of the butternut squash and onions immediately softens any kale bitterness, making the new vegetable venturer very happy.  I luv luv luv this recipe and not because it is healthy (which it is) and not because it's an easy crowd pleaser (which is it) and not even because it make me look like a brilliant cook (which it does).  NOPE, I love this recipe because it is unabashedly, deviously delicious.  So devious in fact it will get everyone, even the kale curious and wary vegetable worrier, to hope on board and say, "Please sir, may I have some more?"  

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onions

Serves 4

1 large head dinosaur (lacinato) kale, washed and thinly chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin, unrefined olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Dash of sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme

2 1/2 cups butternut squash and onions mixture (recipe below)

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Wash the kale, dry and chop finely.  Place in a large bowl and add in the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and thyme.  Massage the greens with your hands until evenly coated and wilted.  Cover and place in the fridge and let marinate for between 2 hours and over night.   When ready to serve, add in the butternut squash and onions, stirring well, and taste for seasoning.  Top with chopped walnuts and enjoy!

Butternut Squash & Onions

1 butternut squash (about 1 pound)

1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Dash of sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the bottom and top off the squash.  Halve, peel, and seed squash and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.  Peel and slice the red onion.  In two baking dishes, mix the squash with a bit olive oil, salt and pepper and place in one and mix the onion with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the other.  Bake the squash and onions until roasted and a bit crisp, about 45-1 hour.   The onions will cook faster than the squash, so be sure to check them about 30 minutes into cooking.  Remove from the oven and add to the kale.

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