I make a version of this salad every winter and while they differ slightly, they all follow the same formula. There’s a leafy dark green, something roasted, something creamy and something crunchy. See herehere and here for my previous winter salads. 

This version has kale, pumpkin, avocado, pomegranates, and spicy pecans and I’ve been making it on repeat. 

Kale – the kale is massaged with olive oil and lemon juice to soften it (the trick to making raw kale taste good, not bitter). 

Pumpkin – I generally don’t like pumpkin, it’s watery and difficult to peel. The exception is the small orange pumpkins with the edible skin. They’re easy to cut, you don’t have to peel them and roasted they taste good, so when I see them, I get them (Woolies currently sells them). Make sure to wash your pumpkin well using either a vegetable brush or veggie spray. It’s roasted with olive oil, honey, and some chili flakes for a charred, sticky, sweet and spicy bite. 

Avocado and Pomegranate – because I will add them to everything while they’re in season. 

Sweet and Spicy pecans – it’s this recipe but I only used pecans and it’s the way I’ll make this mix going forward. The grooves of the pecans capture all the spice mix goodness and they’re a dead ringer for the Trader Joes version I was originally inspired by. I’ve included the recipe for the nuts below. Instead of using mixed nuts, use pecans. You’ll only need 1/2 cup for this salad, so save the rest in a container for future salads or to snack on.

A delicious pumpkin kale salad that combines honey roasted pumpkin, lightly marinaded kale, pomegranates, avocados and sweet & spicy pecans for a delicious winter salad.
Course: Sides
Dietary: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Honey Roasted Pumpkin

  • 1 small orange pumpkin with edible skin
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes

Kale

  • 180 grams Kale
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Add-ins

  • 2 avocados chopped
  • 1 pomegranate deseeded
  • ½ cup sweet & spicy pecans see recipe below, but only use pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C
  • Cut the pumpkin into quarters and remove the seeds. Cut each quarter in half (lengthways to make it shorter) and then slice into thin pieces. 
  • Add the sliced pumpkin to a baking tray along with the olive oil, honey, salt and chili. Mix well to fully coat the pumpkin, arrange the slices in an even layer and bake for 35-40 minutes till slightly charred. Remove and let cool. 
  • While the pumpkin is roasting, wash the kale and cut into thin strips. Add to a large bowl along with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Using your hands massage the kale to coat. Set aside.  
  • When the pumpkin is ready assemble add it to the kale along with the avocado, pomegranate seeds and pecans. Season to taste. 

Sweet n Spicy Nut Mix

An easy to make party snack starter, this sweet n spicy nut mix will keep you coming back for more.
Course: Snacks
Dietary: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wheat Free

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C mixed nuts raw and unsalted
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup / honey
  • 2 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a baking tray with paper or a silicone mat.
  • Melt the coconut oil in a pan over low heat. Remove from heat and add in the maple syrup.
  • Add in the spices and mix well until combined.
  • Add nuts to a mixing bowl. Pour the spice mixture over the nuts and coat well.
  • Spread the nuts in an even layer on a lined baking tray
  • Bake for 15 minutes (After 8 minutes, turn the pan around)
  • Remove and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
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