Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean we can’t cook up some heat in the kitchen. Serve up these three plant-based delicacies for family and friends and watch them ask for seconds.
Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
8 cups kale leaves, chopped
½ large apple (Granny Smith or Pink Lady), chopped
1 cup sweet potato, cubed an roasted
¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup pecans, chopped and roasted
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. Place chopped kale in a large bowl and drizzle half of the vinaigrette over the top. Use your hands to gently massage the vinaigrette into the leaves and set aside.
Roast sweet potato in the oven (400° for 25 minutes). Toast pecans in the oven (350° for 5-10 minutes). Top kale mixture with apples, sweet potato, onion, feta, and pecans. Top with remaining vinaigrette and toss to combine.
Ruth Murillo is the full-time dietitian for the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth, where she provides one-on-one nutrition counseling, healthy cooking demonstrations, nutrition education, and more.
Roasted Honey Cinnamon Acorn & Butternut Squash Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
Yields: 6-8 servings
2 medium-sized acorn squash
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp avocado oil
2 bundles of Swiss chard (This can be substituted with spring mix or spinach.)
½ cup pomegranate seeds
⅓ cup feta cheese
3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 clove minced garlic
½ of 1 large shallot, diced
⅓ cup champagne vinegar
⅔ cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
2 pinches of salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
To speed up the cooking time, use a fork to poke holes into the acorn squash and microwave for 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before proceeding.
Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then cut into 1 inch thick slices.
Toss acorn squash slices in a bowl with avocado oil, honey, and cinnamon.
Assemble acorn squash on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single flat layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and tender.
Toss butternut squash in a bowl with avocado oil, honey, and cinnamon. Assemble on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
While the squashes are baking, prepare the champagne vinaigrette. Combine garlic, shallots, champagne vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and black pepper to a jar and shake until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Remove stems from Swiss chard and chop or tear into bite sized pieces.
To assemble salad, tightly pack Swiss ßåchard into a bowl. Add acorn squash slices and diced butternut squash. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds over top. Finish with a generous drizzle of champagne vinaigrette and enjoy!
Ngocmy Nguyen is a dietitian who has a passion for teaching others how to cook and strives to help her clients achieve their nutrition goals.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate & Tahini Dressing
Yields: 8 servings
6 cups Brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sea salt (divided)
2⅔ Tbsp tahini
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup water
¼ cup parsley (minced)
1 cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss the Brussels sprouts with ⅔ of the oil and half of the salt. Spread them out on the baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, ﬂipping them halfway through until crispy and browned.
Make the dressing by mixing the tahini, lemon juice, water, and remaining salt together. Drizzle it over the Brussels sprouts and garnish with the parsley and pomegranate seeds.
Tere Rivera is a registered dietitian and a certified eating disorder specialist who is passionate about aiding her clients in enhancing their relationship with food.