Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

by - 2:19 AM

It's always an amazing moment when recipes magically create themselves. Such was the case last week when my friend +Trey Fry  (aka @pilatestrey) and I got together for our regular Tuesday night post yoga/pilates hang sesh.

I'd been playing around with a massaged kale recipe for the last few weeks. He had an acorn squash he wanted to roast. There was a little wine. Lots of music. And per usual, within five minutes, somehow I was tricked into watching a RPDR clip (which is actually kind of a terribly fantastic show).

Drag queens aside, I massaged the kale, he came up with the squash (two words: maple. SYRUP.) - and when all was said and done, a fabulous winter salad was born.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

For the squash*
1 acorn squash
Pure Maple Syrup
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Cinnamon

For the kale
1 bunch red kale
Caesar Dressing (recipe here - I'd throw in an egg yolk - or buy this no preservatives version)
Fresh grated parmesan
Fresh grated romano

For the extra credit topping
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons (#stopit)
*all ingredients to taste


Step 1 - Roast the Squash

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds (like a cantaloupe). Slice the squash into quarters and place on baking sheet.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

Drizzle with olive oil, pure maple syrup, and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and cinnamon to taste.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

How to roast squash

Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once.

Step 2 - Massage yo kale

Chop the kale and destem. We used lacinato or dinosaur kale initially, which works better for sauteing.  It didn't absorb the dressing as well as I would have liked, so I switched to red kale when I remade this.
How to massage kale

How do you massage kale? With your hands ;)

That's right. Wash em good, stick em in the bowl and knead the salad like you are kneading dough. For you non bakers, like how you would squeeze out your shower loofah.

How to massage kale - Fit Girl's Kitchen

How to massage kale - Fit Girl's Kitchen

I like to jam out when I cook. Current playlist - Next Chapter

How to massage kale - Fit Girl's Kitchen

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale
The vinegar in the dressing will react with the kale, softening it and wilting it. The longer it sits, the better it gets, so I like to make it early and let it set while the kale is roasting, or even make it ahead of time earlier in the day.

Step 3 - Find a bowl

Bowl based foods are my jam (BSG shoutout!) and this dish goes best layered together.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

Remove the squash and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Put it on top of the kale salad, top with fresh grated cheeses, the croutons if you are feeling sassy, and enjoy the winter goodness.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Massaged Kale

(you can eat the outside of the squash, it's good for you. Fiber fiber fiber)

Bon Appetit! 
xo

Special thanks to Trey Fry for his take on the squash. You can follow him on instagram or visit his website www.treyfry.com for more pilates goodness.



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