About this time every year, despite our best efforts to prove all the haters wrong and keep up the healthy productivity we worked so hard to institute at the start of the semester, we hopelessly fall into the dreaded fall daze. I mean, how can we continue to enjoy our extra dark roast Costco coffee we’ve been reheating for the past three days when there are overpriced, diabetes-inducing pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks just down the street? We can’t just cap off another average evening at Crossroads with a dissatisfying cup of fro-yo when we catch a mouthwatering glimpse of warm pecan pie. We try our darnedest to opt for crispy garden salads over crispy chicken strips, but how can we resist?
Fear not! Healthy need not be synonymous with dingy, gloomy and drab. The secret to deliciously fresh salads we can enjoy just as much on chilly fall nights as we would on sunny summer afternoons is to warm up our customarily cool creations, resulting in an autumnal masterpiece rivaling any fatty fall food, from pumpkin pie to hot chocolate.
~ Warm fall salad ~
- 1/2 cup ripe, chopped tomatoes
- 3 to 4 medium red potatoes
- 1 cup squash
- 1/2 cup beets
- 1/2 cup radishes
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 cups kale
- 4 cups salad greens
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium onion
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt, pepper, olive oil, cumin, curry
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- dressing: 2 tablespoons brown mustard, juice of 1 orange, pinch of salt and pepper, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and set aside a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chop potatoes, beets and squash in roughly 1-inch cubes. Toss these ingredients in a large bowl, with a splash of olive oil and lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the mixture over parchment and bake it for 30 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Once cooked, let it cool.
2. Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in a medium saucepan. Add lentils and a few pinches of curry and cumin (and any other spices you like), and toast the mixture lightly for two minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Once the lentils are cooked, turn off the heat, add kale and cover the kale to wilt it.
3. Wash and dry the salad greens and add them to the large salad bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, sliced radishes, roasted vegetable mixture, lentils and cheese.
4. Combine the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss.
Image Source: Chicken Strip
Contact Christina Fossum at [email protected].