We survived another holiday season and I don’t know about you guys but after a lot of holiday sweets and big family meal get-togethers, my skinny jeans were feeling extra snug! I was craving something fresh and healthy, but also warm and hearty for those extra cold days. After throwing together some of my favorite ingredients, I believe I may have found the winning combination with this lemony roasted kale salad! Lightly roasted kale, zesty shallots, a citrusy kick from fresh lemon, spicy and crunchy chickpeas, tangy rich goat cheese, and roasted acorn squash strike the perfect balance for a hearty winter salad that’s as healthy as it is tasty!
For Crispy Chickpeas:
1 (15oz) can of chick peas, rinse and thoroughly dry
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
(makes 4 servings as a main dish, 6 servings as a side dish)
1 acorn squash
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large bunch of kale, leaves ripped into small pieces
1 small shallot, finely sliced
1 Tbs lemon juice
3 – 4 Tbs goat cheese crumbles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
Use a paper towel to dry chickpeas as much as possible and add to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Toss to evenly coat and then transfer to the prepared baking sheet, arranging in a single layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, shake the pan, and then finish baking another 30 minutes or until chickpeas are crispy. Set aside to cool until ready to use. This will make quite a bit but these are awesome to eat just for snacking. Just store any leftovers in a zip-lock bag at room temperature.
Switch oven temperature to 425 degrees F and line a second large baking sheet with foil.
Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds and stringy insides.
Cut squash halves into two to three more pieces to create wedges. Place cut side up on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place in the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes or until squash is tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Remove from oven, place in a large bowl or plate, and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add kale pieces, shallot slices, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a large bowl.
Toss to evenly coat and then spread in a single layer on the baking sheet you used for the squash. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F. Remove from the oven to toss and flip kale, then roast for another 2-3 minutes or until edges are just beginning to crisp.
Add 1-2 squash wedges to a plate, top with roasted kale, as many crispy chickpeas as you would like, and finally goat cheese crumbles. Serve right away.