Butternut Squash and Cranberries (4)

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Great side for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I love the color of this dish – all nice and warm and wintery and so easy to make.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion – chopped quite finely

12 oz. butternut squash – cut  into 1″ cubes

2 handfuls of dried cranberries

1 tbsp. each of sage and thyme – finely chopped

Place onion, squash, cranberries and herbs in a large bowl. Pour over the seasoned oil and toss well before placing on a baking tray.

Cook in oven for 45 minutes.

 

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Festive Salad (serves 4)

photo - Festive Salad

Every once in a while during the Festive Season it can be nice to have a salad around – good with cold leftovers, counter balance to rich food. If you have a buffet it can be added to the mix. Or some people serve it as one of the courses during a more formal event. And, best thing is that it can be made in advance.

I blended together chopped lettuce (a nice crisp Romaine), good handful of dried cranberries, a little bit of finely chopped red onion, chopped walnuts and thin green beans (cooked ‘al dente’ and cut into small pieces). Dressing was a honey mustard dressing (1 tbsp. runny honey, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

If you have leftover turkey you can add it into the mix.

Hearty Quinoa Salad (serves 4)

recipe photo 15Hearty Quinoa Salad (serves 4)

Quinoa has replaced rice in my diet. It is less bland than rice but can still be a backdrop for many other flavors. This salad contains chicken tenders cooked in aluminum foil along with lemon juice and olive oil, cucumber, dried cranberries, avocado and hearts of palm. The lemon juice and olive oil are poured over the salad as a type of dressing. Hearts of Palm are great in a salad. I have only ever had them from a can but they are derived from certain types of palm tree and contain potassium and vitamin B-6. If you want to omit the chicken, the salad is fine for vegetarians and vegans. It would be good in a lunchbox at work/picnic.

2 cups boiling water
1 cup quinoa
6 chicken tenders
Juice of 1 lemon – freshly squeezed
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cucumber – diced
3 x hearts of palm – chopped up
Handful of dried cranberries
1 x avocado – diced

Cook quinoa in boiling water then place in a large bowl and let cool.
Place chicken tenders on a large piece of aluminum foil and pour over lemon juice and olive oil. Season, then cook for some 20 minutes in oven, then let cool and slice.
When quinoa is cool add the cucumber,cranberries, hearts of palm, avocado and chicken slices.
Pour over lemon juice and oil and mix well together.

Brussels Sprouts Salad (serves 4)

Brussels Sprouts Salad (serves 4)

I love Brussels sprouts as a Fall/Winter veg and turkey for Thanksgiving/Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them, but raw in a salad – not so sure. However, I tasted this raw sprouts dish in a restaurant and was nicely surprised but thought I would substitute the raw for cold roasted sprouts with their more dense, nutty flavor. Along with the sprouts goes parma ham – a nice pairing – celery, cranberries and finely sliced walnuts served on a bed of arugula/rocket. As a dressing honey mustard is a must.

1 pound of Brussel sprouts (before cleaning off outer leaves) – quartered
2 slices Parma ham – cut into slivers
3 oz celery – diced
Small handful dried cranberries
1 tbsp. walnuts – finely sliced
Arugula/rocket

Honey Mustard Dressing

1 tbsp. cider vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp. honey

Put all ingredients in a screw top jar and shake well to emulsify.