This recipe comes from our friend Emma over at Cook Novel. She’s an amazing cook on top of being a mother and she’s able to keep food costs low by maximizing ingredients for maximum nutritional value. Keep reading for the article and recipe and get cooking!

Anyone who’s ever had a good salad, knows they’re one of the most delicious things out there. Unfortunately, most of them seem to have been made with only lunches in mind.

If you’re looking for a delicious and filling salad that’s perfect for dinner during any time of the year (but especially in Autumn) this is it!

This recipe takes about 40 minutes to make and can yield up to 4 portions, more if you’re using it as a side dish.

While the process is rather lengthy, we promise you it’s more than worthy.

Let’s get started:


  • Delicata Squash, 1 medium.
  • Olive oil, 3 tbsp. Extra virgin.
  • Orange, 1.
  • Maple Syrup, 1 tbsp.
  • Cayenne Pepper, to taste.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • White vinegar, 1 tbsp.
  • Kale leaves, 2 pound.
  • Wheat berries, ¼ cup. Preferred brand.
  • Pepitas, ¼ cup. (Toasted pumpkin seeds)


Step 1. Preparations

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Halve your squash lengthwise and seed it thoroughly. Once ready, slice into ½ inch slices and set aside.
  3. Squeeze the orange and collect the juice in a small bowl or container. Set aside and zest the peels.
  4. Remove the seams from your kale leaves and tear them into bite-sized bits.
  5. Cook your wheat berries following directions in the package.

Step 2. Baking

  1. In a large bowl, toss the squash slices with a tablespoon of oil until each piece is covered. Season with salt and pepper and toss once more to ensure the ingredients are properly mixed.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Step 3. Vinaigrette

  1. Follow this step while the squash bakes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix what’s left of your olive oil, along with the orange juice, maple syrup and vinegar.
  3. Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, whisk in the orange zest and cayenne pepper.

Step 4. Serve

  1. Remember to massage your kale before serving in order to get rid of the bitterness.
  2. You don’t know what massaging kale is? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. See instructions in the next section.
  3. In a large serving platter, place your kale leaves and top them with the baked squash, wheat berries, pepitas and pomegranate seeds. Serve along with the vinaigrette or drizzle it before serving.

How (and why) to Massage Kale

You’ve probably heard about kale and its many health benefits before. Maybe you’ve even tried it. If you found kale to be too bitter and strong, don’t give up on it so soon. Chances are you didn’t massage it.

Massaging kale, as odd as it might seem, is a fantastic way of ‘softening’ the flavor of these leaves, turning a bitter taste into something almost sweet.

Here’s how you do it:

1- Remove the fibrous ribs
2- Take a bunch of kale between your hands and rub them together.
3- Repeat this step until you notice a visible change in the leaves: They’ll darken and shrink.
4- Take a small bite to see if the kale tastes better now. If not, keep massaging.

If you don’t mind adding more ingredients to your mix, using olive oil and salt while massaging will help speed up the process.

If you really don’t feel like massaging your food, don’t worry. Toss kale leaves with olive oil and let it rest overnight.

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Have you tried this recipe and loved it? Is there any way you think we can improve?

Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

Thank you very much for reading.

Brief Author Bio

Emma Claire

I’m Emma, founder of Cook Novel and I’m absolutely in love with food blog. I’d like to share the interesting recipes, food tips and top lists of kitchen gadgets. I’m a foodie at heart but being the mother of 3 kids, it’s not always easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so I rely on the support of other blogging moms like me to help along the way.