A HOLIDAY SALAD THAT WILL IMPRESS

FROM THE FIELDS - ISSUE# 39

We are in love with this power salad and wanted to share it with you!  This delicious and festive salad from the Green Life herself is definitely one to serve to your guests this holiday or impress your hostess with the mostess!

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THIS POWER SALAD is packed with a massive amount of nutrients and flavour no one can turn down! You know what there is to know about quinoa and kale but we wanted to play up on squash- not the sport. Did you know that squash is not just a winter thing? Squash is categorized into winter and summer varieties. While each type varies in shape, size, colour, and flavour, all squash share similar characteristics. The entire vegetable is edible- skin to seeds and even the flowers from the ones that can bloom.

SUMMER squash include zucchini, pattypan, crookneck and straightneck. While we might not have tried them, their names alone leave us curious. Have you tried a pattypan? They are small, saucer-shaped squash and their skin can either be pale green or golden yellow. The flesh is cream coloured, a little denser and sweeter than a zucchini. Now that we are in the winter months, even though it may not feel like it, it is the best time to consume all the delicious winter squashes.

DELICATA is not just a weird way to say delicious. Although this squash belongs to the summer category of squashes, it matures into the winter months ready to serve just before we give thanks. This squash is not as rich in beta-carotene as other winter squashes, but is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium, as well as smaller amounts of vitamins C and B, magnesium, and manganese. A 3/4-cup portion of delicata squash contains 30 calories and 0g of fat, making it an excellent choice if your meal plan is developed for the purpose of losing weight. Our bodies do need fat to function so using this squash with the recipe below filled with avocado, almonds, coconut and olive oil- the healthy fats, is the best way to keep things balanced as we indulge into the New Year.

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WARM QUINOA, KALE & DELICATA SQUASH SALAD + ORANGE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

Serves: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

Roasted vegetables:

  • 1 large delicata squash

  • 4 shallots

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Quinoa salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used a mix of white and black, both anyone will do)

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and finely chopped

  • ½ cup dried cranberries (or dried cherries)

  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced

Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice (the juice of about ½ large orange) + 1 tbsp orange zest

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 green onion, finely chopped

  • Pinch of sea salt

 INSTRUCTIONS

Roast the vegetables:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.Start by slicing the squash into about ½ inch thick rings. Using a knife or a spoon, scrape the seeds out of each of your squash slice. (Don't throw the seeds away. They make a wonderful snack when roasted with spices and a little bit of oil).

  • Now peel the shallots and slice them into quarters. Place the squash rings and shallots together on the lined baking sheet. Brush the vegetables with coconut oil, making sure to coat both sides. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Roast for 20-25 minutes, until squash is browned and a fork pierces through easily, flipping squash slices half-way through.

Make the vinaigrette:

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Prepare the quinoa:

  • Place quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly under running water. Drain.

  • Place quinoa in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, lower heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed all the water.

  • Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

  • Transfer the quinoa into a large salad bowl. Add the chopped kale and about ⅓ cup of the dried cranberries. Pour about ¾ of the vinaigrette, keeping a small amount aside. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

    Assemble:

    To serve, place the quinoa and kale mixture on a large serving plate. Top with the squash slices, roasted shallots, remaining cranberries, avocado dices, and toasted almonds. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top and serve immediately.