A Season of Thanks! Kale & Brussels Sprouts that SHINE!

Gratitude, the theme of the Thanksgiving season. I have so much to be grateful for: a wonderful family, health, happiness, a dog that bugs me every morning to walk her, the list goes on and on. But today I am giving thanks for local and seasonal foods...Kale and Brussels Sprouts! When these foods are mentioned, is your first thought, "Not my favorites, bring on the pumpkin pie!"? When I was a child, Kale and Brussels Sprouts were on my "don't eat" list. They were always served boiled to the point of mushiness and served with malt vinegar. Not savory, according to my sensitively developed young palate. In hindsight, I'm sure my mom was adding these superfoods into my family's diet to round out our vegetables intake but only had the recipes of her family to reference. No internet back then! As I got older, I realized it was all in the preparation. These wonderful fall delicacies needed to be lightly sautéed, roasted or eaten raw. My Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad allows these vegetables to shine! The salad is topped with these fall favorites-butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, goat cheese and is dressed with a light and flavorful blend of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon, honey, herbs and spices. This is such a great addition to the Thanksgiving table or freshly grilled meat can be added to round this out into an entree salad. Enjoy!

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Seeds, and Cranberries

--From the kitchen of Heather Page, Healthy Decadence

For the salad:

1 pkg organic kale, chopped (around 8 cups, if fresh)

18 Brussels Sprouts, sliced thinly

1/2 medium butternut squash, roasted and cubed into 1" pieces (you can make a large squash and keep the remaining for soup-see my next post :))

1/2 c. Crispy shelled pumpkins seeds or pepitas

1/2 c. Dried organic cranberries

4 oz. goat cheese, herbed or plain, crumbled (optional)

For the dressing:

1/2 c. Olive oil

1/4 c. Raw apple cider vinegar

2 T. Dijon mustard

1 T. Honey (sub maple syrup for vegan)

1 1/2 t. Freshly chopped thyme

3/4 t. Freshly chopped rosemary

3 cloves freshly pressed garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Build your salad in layers by ingredients, for presentation.

2. Mix all dressing ingredients and emulsify with an immersion blender or in a jar with a lid. This makes a lot of dressing.

3. Lightly dress the salad awhile before serving to allow the flavors to develop and then save the rest for dressing to personal preference.

ALWAYS REMEMBER, YOU CAN CREATE AND ENJOY THE FOODS THAT WILL SUSTAIN YOUR LIFE. BE WELL, BE HAPPY, AND EAT WHOLE!

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© 2014 by Natasha Ria El-Scari. All rights reserved.   Photographs of Heather--Trish Brown Photography

**This website is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice by licensed physicians. You should always consult a physician regularly in all matters relating to medical problems, especially in matters of diagnosing, treating, curing diseases or other physical or mental conditions.