Fall weather makes me giddy. I am loving this! The air is crisp and cool, and the leaves are starting to change colors ever so slightly. There’s just nothing like it. This is the time of year when I feel most at peace. Why can’t it be fall all year long?
I can’t lie; this weather has me struggling a bit with my workouts lately. I just want to stay snuggled under the covers all morning long with the cool breeze coming through the window, instead of crawling out of bed at 4am to hit the gym. So brutal. But, I’m trying to stay strong! I figure I can make up a bit for not working out hardcore by eating yummy salads. Even trade off, you think?
I’m a huge fan of salads and always make enough for Steve and me to have leftovers for lunch most of the week. Now if I could just get around to doing this weekly. So, this salad here—it’s mega-packed with goodness. There is everything under the sun in this baby (hence the name), and it is sooo good. It kind of reminds me of the garbage salad from our local deli. Unattractive name, but oh so good!
I bet your wondering what’s in this salad. Let me tell you. As with all my salads, it starts with a base of chopped kale, cabbage, and shredded carrots. Then I toss in some white beans, canned tuna, and sliced green olives. Along with all that goes some apple and orange slices, roasted acorn squash, raisins, cashews, and sunflower seeds. Talk about a party in your mouth!
The cashews in this salad are a huge highlight. I tried to get one in every bite! I never thought I liked cashews, but this here changed my mind. My word, they are perfectly salty and incredibly buttery. Mmm! And the raisins…! I never thought about adding raisins to a salad until I ate the garbage salad from our local deli. Now? I wouldn’t think of not adding raisins. There’s just something about having a sweet and chewy bite in every spoonful. Yes, I eat this salad with a spoon. Don’t judge.
So, the dressing. It’s simple with just a few ingredients—apple cider vinegar, orange juice, and canola oil. It’s sweet, tangy, and pairs perfectly with all the delicious goodness in this salad. I tend to use a light amount of dressing on my salad to allow all the all flavors to shine through. For me, it’s all about striking a good balance, but use as much or as little as your heart desires.
Oh, I should point out that this recipe makes A LOT of salad. But, you can very easily scale it back to fit your needs. It’s really about making as much or as little salad base mix as you’d like. The fresh fruit and toppings can be added just before you dig in.
Enjoy this for a lovely salad Sunday dinner. You just can’t go wrong!
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Salad
Yields a lot of salad—can easily be adjusted
For the salad base
- 1 bunch of kale—washed, destemmed, and cut into small pieces w/kitchen scissors
- 1 head of cabbage—cored and chopped into small pieces
- 1 pound of carrots—peeled and shredded (about 4 cups shredded)
- 4 cups of white beans (homemade or canned)—drained and rinsed
- 2 (5oz) cans of tuna—drained
- 1 cup green olives—drained and sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
For the toppings
- 1 apple—cored and sliced or diced
- 1 orange—peeled and segmented
- 1-2 cups acorn squash—roasted* and diced
- sunflower seeds
For the dressing (can easily be halved or doubled)
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup canola oil
- salt and pepper to taste
You can make one very large salad (for a crowd), or you can make individual salad bowls. I made individual salad bowls using the salad base. Then I added the toppings.
For the salad base
To a very large bowl, add the kale, cabbage, and shredded carrots, and mix well with your hands (or tongs). Add the white beans, tuna, and green olives and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the dressing
Add all the ingredients to a small container or Mason jar and shake well to combine.
To individual bowls w/lids, add a few cups of the salad base. Top with some apple and orange slices, diced roasted acorn squash, and a small handful of raisins, sunflower seeds, and cashews.
Add your desired amount of dressing, put the lid on the bowl, and shake well to combine.
Store the leftover salad base and the dressing separately in the refrigerator. The salad should be kept in an airtight container to maintain freshness (for up to 5 days).
To roast the acorn squash—preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with non-stick spray. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds (save the seeds for roasted squash seeds). Cut each half into quarters and coat them with canola oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the squash pieces on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Gently flip the pieces and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Let cool and remove the peel.