Butternut squash isn’t something I grew up loving, but as I started to cook for myself, and especially once I started hosting Thanksgiving, I found a real appreciation for it’s flavor.
The other night, I prepared a roasted chicken and butternut squash kale salad for my dinner. I do like a salad better when there is something warm added to it, such as roasted chicken or in this case, the roasted chicken and roasted butternut squash. I like the warm, mixed with the cold if I’m going to have a salad as a main course.
For this particular salad, I started by seasoning the chicken and squash with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, minced garlic and a Cinnamon Chile rub.
I roasted this in a preheated 425 degree oven for 35 minutes.
The Cinnamon Chile rub is by Victoria Taylor’s Seasonings. I bought mine at Home Goods and haven’t seen it there since. I was able to find it on amazon.com, however. If you’d like to make a version of your own Cinnamon Chile Rub, this is what’s in it: cinnamon, chili peppers, thyme, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, red pepper, black pepper, celery seed, Demerara sugar sea salt, onion, garlic, citric acid and parsley. I guess you could mix together small amounts of of cinnamon, chili powder, dried thyme, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, black pepper, celery seed, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley.
Once the chicken and squash were done roasting, I set them aside (covering the pan with aluminum foil) for 15 minutes and started to build my salad.
I tore my kale from the stems and then tore it into bite size pieces and placed them on a plate. On top of that, I sprinkled a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of fresh ground pepper. I poured my dressing onto the kale before building the rest of the salad and then added slivered raw almonds on top of the dressing.
My dressing consisted of olive oil, Vermont Maple Balsamic, minced garlic, minced shallot, kosher salt, ground pepper and chili powder. I buy my Vermont Maple Balsamic at an Olive Oil store near my home called Baker & Olive. You can order on-line from them at http://www.bakerandolive.com.
If you want to make this and don’t have this balsamic, I would mix together regular balsamic vinegar with good maple syrup. (Maybe a tablespoon of each, whisked together).
After my chicken sat for 15 minutes, I sliced it to put on the salad. I only used half a breast since this salad was only for me, and I only used half of the butternut squash.
I was planning on having the other half of the chicken with the squash for lunch the next day. Dennis loved the chicken so much, he sliced it and made a sandwich out of it. This actually worked out well, because I had the opportunity to meet a friend for lunch.
It’s easy to roast butternut squash, especially when it’s so readily available pre-cut in the store and ready to use. I buy a 16 ounce package of pre-cut squash at Sprouts Farmer’s Market. It definitely makes life easier.
Once the dressing and almonds were on the salad, I added pomegranate seeds, goat cheese and the chicken and squash.
Pomegranate seeds are also something I buy already taken out of the pomegranate and pre-packaged. I usually buy them at Trader Joe’s or Sprouts.
I’d like to talk about pomegranates for just a moment. They are so healthy for us, rich in both Vitamin C and Vitamin K and they are a good source of dietary fiber. Pomegranates are high in polyphenols (antioxidants) which help to boost our immune system during flu season. Keep eating those pomegranates to stay healthy!
Very good friends of ours, Ted and Celeste own a skin care company called Skin Authority. Skin Authority sells a variety of skin care products and they are all fantastic. I’ve used many products of Skin Authority and every one of them makes your skin feel fabulous. I have not tried a product that I like as well as Skin Authority. Their products are not greasy, they just feel right.
Skin Authority’s Ultra Rich Moisturizer contains pomegranates which help to boost the ability of our skin to resist sun damage. I recently have been paying particular attention to their products that contain certain fruit extracts. I love the idea of using products on my skin that contain such “good for you” ingredients. If they are good for us to eat, imagine how good they are when we use them in a cream or an oil. If you took just one look at my beautiful friend, Celeste, you will see just how amazing their products are. This salad had a real kick of spiciness to it that I really enjoyed. A couple products that I have been eager to try by Skin Authority are their Beauty Infusion Treatments. They have several. One is a Turmeric and Blueberry Beauty Infusion which is used for brightening our skin. Blueberries will help fade the appearance of dark spots and discoloration (something, I myself, need to seriously look into!). Another Beauty Infusion by Skin Authority is their. Quinoa and Avocado, which is for hydrating. Don’t these just sound amazing?! On their website, they also have an olive, fig and Shea butter cream.
Please take some time to visit Skin Authorities website to see all that they have to offer. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, I think you’ll find your new favorite skin care line. You can follow Skin Authority on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. If you go to their YouTube site, you will see a video of my friend, Celeste talking about her company. She is very knowledgeable and wonderful to listen to.
16 ounces butternut squash
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
3-1/2 tablespoons olive oil (1 tablespoon for the chicken and 2-1/2 for the squash)
3-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon for the chicken and 3 teaspoons for the squash)
2 teaspoons pepper (1/2 teaspoon for the chicken and 1-1/2 teaspoons for the squash)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Chile Rub
1 tablespoon refrigerated minced garlic (or fresh minced)
2 tablespoons slivered raw almonds
2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Vermont Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallot
pinch of kosher salt
a few grinds of fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place butternut squash and chicken breast on baking sheet.
- Drizzle oil over squash and chicken and sprinkle kosher salt and pepper over both.
- Sprinkle Cinnamon Chile Rub over squash and chicken and sprinkle garlic over both.
- Roast for 35 minutes.
- In a glass measuring cup, add oil, Vermont maple balsamic, minced garlic, minced shallot, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and chili powder and whisk together.
- Remove kale leaves from stem and tear into bite size pieces. Place on a plate.
- Drizzle dressing over kale leaves (you may not use all of the dressing.)
- Sprinkle slivered almonds on salad.
- Add pomegranate seeds and goat cheese to Salad.
- Place sliced chicken and butternut on top of salad.
Until next time, Kris