December 2, 2013

Collard Salad with Tahini Dressing

Collard Power Salad with Lemon-Tahini DressingCollard Power Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

It’s Monday!

The first day back after a Holiday weekend always seems to drag on longer than other days of the week. While I always wish I was still celebrating with family and friends, I am ready to get back into the office and feel productive. We have been traveling every weekend since Halloween- enjoying new cities, catching up with old friends, and working on upcoming projects. While it’s been fun, I am ready to unpack my suitcase for more than a few days and get back to doing what I love best- cooking & sharing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling and all of the eating that goes with it but I am really ready to get back to some healthy fare! There is only so much champagne, appetizers, and desserts one can take. When faced with excessive amounts of food, I usually stick with intuitive eating to make sure that I am enjoying myself but not going overboard. I hate the feeling of being overly full, which has a way of ruining the energy of the holidays.

While I have been eating fairly well over the last month of traveling, it’s way more food and calories than I normally consume. Nothing to get overly worked up over, but a good time to check in and get back to the food that makes me feel good. As I posted on facebook over the weekend, enjoy the holidays but don’t let one day (or two) of indulging lead to a free-for-all until New Years. Get back on track as soon as you are able!

We arrived back in Sacramento early yesterday morning after a whirlwind few days in Portland with BL’s family. We don’t get to see his side of the family as much as we would like so we took advantage of every minute: hiking, wandering around Portland, beers at local breweries, and plenty of games. After a major grocery store run, it was back to making nuturing food we could enjoy during the week.

First up, this salad. I originally wanted to put Kale in it (I was craving kale, this should tell you the lack of green vegetables that have been in my diet recently) but saw a package of shredded collards at Trader Joe’s and went with it. Such an easy swap! Massage the leaves like you would with kale. Another benefit of using a heartier leaf like collards is that this salad stays fresh without limping! I am eating another bowl as I type this and it’s just as crunchy as it was yesterday afternoon.

I feel silly sometimes posting a salad recipe as any combination of vegetables, grains and seeds should taste good with this dressing. Add what you’ve got!

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 


Collard Power Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

  • Author: Alex Caspero MA, RD
  • Category: salad, entree, main, lunch, dinner


Collard Power Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing. A healthy, nutrient dense salad that’s hearty, healthy, vegan and glutenfree

  • Author: Alex Caspero MA, RD
  • Category: salad, entree, main, lunch, dinner
  • Author: Alex Caspero MA, RD
  • Category: salad, entree, main, lunch, dinner


  • 1 cup butternut squash cubes
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 package shredded collards or 68 cups collard leaves, center rib removed and leaves shredded
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into thin 1/2 moons
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 cup hemp seeds

Lemon-Tahini Dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
  • salt/pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss butternut squash cubes with 1 tsp. oil and pinch salt/pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 25-30 minutes.
  3. Prepare dressing by combing all ingredients for lemon-tahini dressing. Whisk together and season with salt/pepper.
  4. Place shredded collards into a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons of dressing onto the collards and massage well.
  5. Add the butternut squash, black beans, carrots, tomatoes, cooked quinoa and 1/4 cup dressing.
  6. Toss well, massage into remaining ingredients.
  7. Top with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds.
  8. Drizzle with remaining dressing if you wish!

did you make this?

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.


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