Healthy Eating: Winter Kale Superfood Salad

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Staying healthy through the colder months is a lot easier when your body has the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. This low-cal salad has blueberries and pomegranate seeds, which are packed with antioxidants, almonds which provide protien, walnut oil, which can help lower cholestoral and cardiovascular diseasease, and of course kale, which is an amazing superfood all by itself. It has tons of fiber, iron, and is rich with Vitamins K, A, and C and Calcuim. As if that weren't enough, it also has antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids, is an anti-inflammitory food, offers cardiovascular support, and is a great detox food. Maybe that kale craze that has been circulating for the last couple years isn't so crazy after all...  

Winter Kale Superfood Salad

Ingredients

1 Head Kale
1 Pomegranite, Seeded and Shelled
1/2 Cup Parmesean Reggiano (optional for vegan/light)
1/3 Cup Purple Onion
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
1 Cup Sliced Almonds
1 Cup Blueberries

Directions: Clean Kale well, remove leaves from head, and "de-vein" by cutting out the veins that run down the center of the leaves (this is more fibrous and is difficult to chew), and then chop the rest of the leaves so pieces are no bigger than 1"X1". Shell your pomigranite--see video below. Toss with remaining ingredients and serve with dressing on the side.

Dairy-Free Creamy Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Cashews
2/3 Cup White Wine Vinegar
4 Tbsp Walnut Oil
3 Tbsp Local Honey (or raw agave nectar for vegan)
2 Tbsp Fresly Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Finely Minced Shallots
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1.5 tsp Poppyseeds

Directions: Bring water to boil in small saucepan on stovetop. Recuce heat to low and add cashews. Simmer on very low heat for 5 minutes, then turn off heat and allow cashews to soak an additional ten minutes. While they are cooling, you may continue by combining vinegar, shallots, lemon juice, honey and salt in a blender/food processor, and pulse on low until ingredients are combined. Strain cashews and add to mixture, blend until creamy, and slowly add oil as they are blending (this EMULSIFIES the dressing--making it creamy throughout). Remove mixure to serving dish and stir in poppyseeds and freshly cracked pepper. 

Healthy Eating: Vegan Spiced Acorn Squash Soup

 

Fall is upon us! For our first "Healthy Eating" entry we have decided to share a recipe that uses acorn squash--a falltime favorite. With a touch of cinnamon and spice, this soup is sure to satisfy through the holiday season.

 

Vegan Acorn Squash Soup

Recipe submitted by Jeanette Barrow

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 2.5 hours

Ingredients

3 whole acorn squash, halved with seeds removed (a spoon is the best tool here)

4 shallots, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp sea salt

1 Tbsp freshly cracked pepper

3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp white pepper

2 cups coconut milk (canned)

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (to garnish)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (to garnish) 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Arrange squash halves cut-side up on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet. Drizzle squash flesh with 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), then sprinkle them with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake until tender, approximately one hour. Let cool and then remove flesh from skin with a spoon and set aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp EVOO in large soup pan or dutch oven on stovetop at medium-high heat. Add diced shallots and garlic and cook until soft and just beginning to carmelize, about 5-6 minutes. Deglaze pot with 1/4 cup vegetable stock. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining vegetable stock, cooked squash, cayenne, smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add coconut milk. Cover and cook for 1 hour and remove from heat. Once slightly cooled, blend with a hand-blender or in counter-top blender and return to pot. Reheat, and serve in individual bowl and finish each with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a dash of cinnamon.

Bon Appétit!