Guys, we are within the 20 day countdown for Thanksgiving !
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is not only one of the best occasions to spend quality time at your table and celebrate family and the year, but also to basque in the wonder of nature and what the earth can create. There are so many incredible and vibrant produce available over the course of the year, but the November ones are some of my favorites. Squashes, gourds, apples, brussels sprouts, pears, kale, chard..
Over the next 20 days we’re going to explore the different autumnal produce that can find their way to your table and creative ways to incorporate them into your vegetable laden feast. As a plant eater, there is no need to feel isolated, or limit yourself to the ‘tofurkey’ on Thanksgiving. Don’t be silly!
Our first recipe is an earthy and flavor packed warm quinoa salad with cranberries, pecans and finely chopped kale. This is an excellent protein packed addition to any table as a gluten free grain side dish, stuffing substitute or can be served stuffed in a roasted squash.
Cranberry, Pecan & Kale Tricolor Quinoa [makes 8 servings]
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup tricolor quinoa
½ cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1 cup kale, very finely chopped
½ cup pecans
¼ cup pepitas
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, place rack in the middle.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange pecans in single layer. Place in oven on lower rack and toast for 8-10 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and roughly chop. Place aside.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over heat. Add shallots and sauté for 3 minutes or until soft. Make sure to continuously sauté so they don’t begin to fry. Add quinoa and cranberries and stir to coat with oil and shallots. Add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until all of vegetable broth is absorbed.
Remove pan from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork. Add in kale then place the cover back on and allow to sit for 5 minutes so kale can wilt. Stir in pecans and top with pepitas.
Nutritional Information [per serving = ½ cup]
190 calories, 24 g Carbohydrates, 9.5g Fat, 5g Protein