Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

butternut squash kale quinoa salad

I’m ready to concede that summer is over. The light down jacket is out, the leaves are turning, and now I find myself craving pumpkin with a strength that cannot be denied. But as I refuse to post about pumpkin stuff yet, as it’s still September and I am a valiant defender of keeping holidays within their respective months, I’ve had to wrack my brain to come up with something to post.

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Butternut Squash Soup (gluten-free, vegan)

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Winter is made for soup. Whether you’re looking for a good lunch to take to work or a giant bowl of comfort at the end of a long day, soup is always the answer.

This recipe, in particular, is incredibly versatile. First, it’s fast, making it great for a quick weeknight meal. Second, it’s vegetarian, even vegan if you use vegetable stock, as well as being gluten-free and probably Paleo, if you use a sweet potato instead of the boiling potato.

The soup has no flour, no dairy — just a harmonious blend of veggies, a potato, some good stock, and a dash of spice from the red pepper. The carrot makes it silky and sweet, the onion adds bite, the potato brings body to the table, and the squash….well. The squash is clearly the star.

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Chickpea and Butternut Squash Salad

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I have a hard time with chickpeas. You know, the little round beans you get out of a can? They taste like nothing? Sometimes you throw them on a salad, then wonder how they got there? Those. Something about the texture has never particularly appealed to me, and since they don’t really add much flavor to anything, I’ve pretty much avoided them outside of hummus.

But we’re on a budget at our house, a tighter one as we revamp our savings and pay for a wedding. That means we’re cutting down on the amount of meat we eat while still looking for healthy, hearty meals that taste amazing. Not too tall of an order, right?

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