This past weekend, the weather was in the 90s! It may be mid-September, but apparently Southern California hasn’t quite gotten the memo. Well that’s just too bad because I’m ready for cozy sweaters, cuddling up to loved ones to stay warm on long walks, and savoring my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.
While changing the weather is beyond my control, I still managed to evoke some feelings of fall with this delicious salad. It’s the perfect transition food because it has both the lightness of summer salads and the comfort of winter squash.
The colors of this salad really make it a party in your mouth with hot pink pomegranate arils, orange cubes of butternut squash, bright green kale, and taupe colored pumpkin seeds.
This salad was so good that I ate the leftovers for lunch and then again for dinner the very next day!
Fall Cleansing Salad
Adapted From Free People BLDG Blog
- 1 Butternut squash
- 1 Pomegranate, seeded
- ½ Cup of sunflower seeds
- 2 Bunches of dinosaur kale
- ½ Lemon
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil (1 tablespoon for squash and 2 tablespoons for dressing)
- Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Peel and cube the butternut squash, then toss it in a bowl with oil, and spread it out on the baking sheet. Roast the butternut squash for about 25 minutes, or until tender.
- While the squash is cooking, seed the pomegranate, and chop the kale. Place the kale into a large bowl, squeeze the lemon over it, and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, then mix it all up. This helps the kale to start softening a bit.
- Allow the squash to cool for about ten minutes after it comes out of the oven, and then mix it with the pumpkin seeds, pomegranate arils, and kale.
- In a small bowl beat together the mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, and remaining oil. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and serve!
A few days ago I posted about how I am trying to reorganize and simplify my life; that means fixing up my blog too. Now that I’ve gotten the hang of this whole blogging thing, I’ve gone through and cleaned up some of my previous posts, added my recipes to my Foodbuzz profile, and reflected on what type of blog posts you all seem to enjoy most.
Soup garnished with greek yogurt, garam masala, and roasted squash seeds
In doing all of this, I came upon one blog post that I was unhappy with: my recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. This soup tasted too much like heath food and not enough like a delicious puree of the season’s bounty. I want my blog to be full of healthy, delicious recipes, not bunches of vegetables that you have to pinch your nose to swallow. I’ve been experimenting in my kitchen with different adaptations and reading various butternut squash soup recipes from around the blogosphere to try to come up with a soup that tasted smooth and luxurious, while still being absolutely guilt-free.
By leaving out the celery, increasing the number of carrots, decreasing the amount of liquid, decreasing the amount of spices, increasing the amount of garlic and ginger, and increasing the time for the vegetables to caramelize, I’ve drastically improved my butternut squash soup recipe. Please try out the new and improved version and let me know what you think!
Gingered Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
Softened veggies with broth and spices...Delicious!
Adapted from With Style and Grace and a Sofa in the Kitchen
Soup ready to blend!
- 1 Tsp olive oil
- 1 Yellow onion
- 3 Cloves garlic
- 1/2 Leek
- 1 Tbs freshly grated ginger
- 1 Medium butternut squash
- 3-4 Carrots
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Cups vegetable broth (depending on how thick you want your soup)
- 1 Sprig rosemary
- 1/4 Tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 Tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- Slice your onion, garlic, leeks, and set them aside.
- Peel your carrots and your butternut squash, then cube the squash and slice the carrots, then set them both aside.
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium for about a minute then add in the onion, garlic, leek, and ginger. Stir the vegetables occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to turn translucent.
- Next add in the carrot, butternut squash, salt, and pepper for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Feel free to add 1 Tbs water if the vegetables start to heat up too quickly.
- Add the vegetable broth, rosemary, cumin, nutmeg, and cayenne. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving it alone for 30 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender in batches, and blend until smooth, then enjoy!
About a week ago I posted my recipie for homemade broth, and now in honor of National Soup Month (and my personal addiction to soup) I am using that broth to make a healthy, creamy curried butternut squash soup.
Soup sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon
The squash puree gives this soup a thick, smooth texture while the curry powder gives it a metabolism-boosting kick.
As winter squash season starts to come to a close, now is the perfect time to make this delicious soup that you can stash in your freezer for when you need a bowl of liquid comfort. This soup is perfect for serving in carved out pumpkins as an elegant appetizer, for getting your kids to eat their vegetables, or simply for eating when you curl up in a cozy sweater with a good book.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1/2 leek
- 1-3 stalks of celery (optional)
- 1-2 carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbs curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- plain yogurt (optional garnish)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Peel the butternut squash, then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds
- Mix the seeds with 1/4 tsp olive oil, cumin, and a sprinkle of salt
- Cut the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes then season with 1 tsp olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Place the squash on one end of a baking sheet and the seeds on the other side, then place the baking sheet it in the oven and allow it to roast
- After 20 minutes take out the baking sheet, remove the seeds, and then return it to the oven for another 25-30 minutes
- While the squash is roasting, dice the leek, celery, carrots, onion, and garlic, then set aside
- In a large stockpot heat the remaining 1 3/4 tsp olive oil over medium heat
- Saute the onions, garlic, and ginger for 2-3 minutes,
- Increase the heat the high, then add the cubed squash and broth
- After the mixture comes to a boil reduce the heat to a summer for 20-25 minutes
- Use an immersion blender or a food processor to blend the mixture (in small batches if necessary) until smooth
- Add the leeks, celery, and carrots and saute for another 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften
- Serve soup as is, or top it with yogurt, squash seeds (see step 6), or a sprinkle of the spice of your choice
Soup with cyan pepper, yogurt, and squash seeds