Low-key Halloween

on
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
If Halloween falling on a Monday wasn't already a bummer, my immune system decided to throw in the towel Monday afternoon. By the time I returned home from my school visits on Monday, I was completely wiped out with a runny nose, pounding headache, and sore throat.

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday as any loyal reader knows, but this year, I felt so sick, the best I could do was light a few pumpkin candles and unenthusiastically hand out candy to our trick-or-treaters. My costume quickly turned into 'sickly 30-something.' Not one of my favorites...

My pumpkin candles were about as festive as things got this year at our house.

The Halloween season wasn't a complete bust this year though. I had decked out the house in all of its Autumn glory earlier in September. I also carved two Jack-O-Lanterns and watched Hocus Pocus over the weekend. If you know me, carving a Jack-O-Lantern and watching Hocus Pocus are absolute musts for Halloween. In fact, I couldn't find my Hocus Pocus DVD for about 30 minutes on Sunday evening, and almost had a complete breakdown.  (It's been a long recruitment season, guys.)


Our pumpkins, Jack and Jill, hanging out by the chiminea. 

Thankfully, we found the DVD, and all was well in the Kuchinski household.

One highlight of Halloween was this kale salad I fixed for dinner. I had found it in my November issue of Self Magazine and thought it was a great healthy, seasonal salad. With roasted butternut squash, kale, pepitas (pumpkin seeds!) and a delicious maple syrup dressing, it combined all sorts of great fall flavors.

Roasting the squash was basically the only prep needed for the salad.

The only change I made was using regular Kale. (Couldn't find red Kale at Dillon's) It was really, really delicious, and a great healthy option, especially for someone fighting a cold! Kale and squash are both loaded with Vitamin A and C.  If you're looking for a tasty fall salad, give it a try.

Delicious fall salad served with my favorite childhood placemats.

Red Kale Salad with Mustard-Maple Vinaigrette - Self Magazine, November 2016

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/8 red wine vinegar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
7 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/4 inch thick strips
1 large bunch red kale ( I used regular kale)
1/3 cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Whisk together first five ingredients, saving 1 1/2 Tbsp of oil for squash. Toss butternut squash in remaining oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until browned. Wash and stem the kale and cut into pieces. Toss with cooled squash, pepitas, and vinaigrette. 

Hope you had a Happy, and healthy, Halloween, friends!


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