Like most leafy green vegetables, kale is very low in calories, packed full of fiber, and high in key vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I personally prefer the taste of raw kale in smoothies and salads but I generally combine it with sweeter ingredients to temper its bitter taste. Here’s one of my favorite recipes for kale that includes the rich, sweet flavor of butternut squash.

What You Need

  • 1 butternut squash, about 3 pounds (also great with Red Kuri squash if you can find it, or kabocha squash, neither of which have to be peeled)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt
  • 1 large bunch VERY fresh kale
  • 1/8 cup coarsely chopped fresh ciilantro
  • 1/8 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste salt to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

How To Prepare

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Top and tail the squash, halve it crosswise, put each piece flat-side down on the cutting board, and then peel them with a sharp chef’s knife. Remove the seeds with a spoon and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl, toss them with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and then lightly season them with freshly ground pepper and salt.

Spread the oiled and seasoned cubes on a parchment-paper covered sheet pan. Roast the cubes for 20-25 minutes, until they’re tender and starting to brown. While the squash roasts, strip the kale from its ribs by running your fingers along both sides (bottom to top).

Wash the kale well and then cut it into fine ribbons. Mix the cut kale with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl, and rub and massage the kale until it softens (about 2 minutes). Make the sauce by combining all the “sauce” ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to puree to a sauce consistency. Combine the sauce with the softened kale. Toss the hot squash with the sauce and kale, and then serve.

Courtesy of Paulding & Company, this delicious recipe makes 12-15 servings at only 90-110 calories each and is incredibly rich in healthy fats and potent antioxidants.