Autumn Squash & Spinach Salad

Autumn Squash & Spinach Salad

HELLO, friends! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a recipe or blog, and I thank you for keeping up with me, via Instagram and Facebook!

Summer has ended, and it was a season full of changes (all positive), and travel! The summer began with an unexpected shift in my full-time job, but I saw it as a blessing from God. I had been praying for something different for a while, and although what was presented to me wasn’t what I had in mind, I accepted it with gratitude, and decided to work part-time until I found something better. After months of applying, I was recruited by an amazing company, and began working full-time in September. God is good, and I’m so happy to be where I am! Also – working part-time is not my thing. #workaholic

I took two trips out of the country, to Mexico in July (I was a bridesmaid in my good friend’s wedding), and to England (to visit my boyfriend) in August. Two places I have never been before, and they were both so much fun in their own ways. I’ll be headed back to England this New Year’s.

As many of my fellow Southerners know, fall weather in Nashville is pretty unpredictable. One morning you’ll be missing the pool due to the heat, and the next day you find yourself dusting off that winter coat. I’ve been cooking warmer dishes like curry, and chili, but I also like to take advantage of the produce of the season, like squash!

Delicata squash was originally what I wanted to cook for this salad, but after searching many stores, I gave up and settled on acorn squash from a local farmer.

What I love about this salad is the mix of flavors, textures, and color! Acorn squashes are naturally sweet, FYI.

TO CUT AN ACORN SQUASH

  • They’re nearly impossible to peel, so don’t bother.
  • A ripe acorn squash is a dark green with some orange coloring mixed in. It should not be mushy.
  • The more yellow the squash, the sweeter it’ll be.
  • Have a large, sharp knife on hand. To half, cut through the stem end to the point, rather than across the diameter.
  • Once halved, cut pieces along the diameter. For video instructions, click here.

244D45B9-E178-42F3-BBE3-6E55CE1CFD11.jpegAutumn Squash Salad
Serves 3

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash, sliced
1 bag LoveBeets – Organic Cooked Beets, diced
1 bag raw spinach leaves
Dried Cranberries
Raw pumpkin seeds
Pistachios, shelled and crushed
Feta cheese, crumbled
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Slice acorn squash as directed above.
2.  On a non-stick baking sheet (or grill tray), spread acorn squash slices out evenly. Lightly coat in olive oil, and a tiny pinch of salt.
3. Put in oven and cook for 45 minutes.
4. In the meantime, place diced beets in oven-safe dish, lightly coat them in olive oil,  and cook for 20 minutes.
5. Let beets and squash cool before assembling salad.
6. Arrange salad: spinach, squash, beets, dried cranberries, raw pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and crumbled feta.
7. Lightly spray or pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing.

If you loved this recipe, leave me a comment or share on Instagram, @goodafeats, #goodAFeats!

xoxo, Amber

 

Cauliflower Tabbouleh (Tabouli)

Cauliflower Tabbouleh (Tabouli)

Mediterranean food is one of my favorite cuisines, due to the immense mixture of flavors you can create, plus it tends to be on the healthier side. A Mediterranean diet tends to be rich in olive oil, fruits, vegetables, seafood, low grains, low dairy, and low meat. Great for people who need to eat a heart healthy diet, or have digestions issues. Popular dishes include: pita, gyros, greek salad, falafel, and one of my favourites, tabouli* (or tabbouleh). *Spelling depends on which region you’re in.

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Tabouli is a popular vegetarian salad among the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. Traditionally, it is made with bulgar wheat, but to save on carbs I have subbed it out for riced cauliflower, making it even more nutritious. It’s keto, vegan, Whole30, and delicious!

This salad contains tons of superfoods, such as:
Cauliflower – Vitamin C; Fights inflammation, low carb
Parsley – Vitamin C, Iron
Mint – Magnesium; Aids in digestion
Cucumber – Vitamin A; Can reduce the risk of diabetes and lower cholesterol
Tomatoes – Antioxidants (Vitamin A + C); Fights inflammation
Lemon Juice – Vitamin B; Cleanses liver, helps food digestion
Olive Oil – Lowers cholesterol

Toast some pita, and serve up this side dish with your favorite Mediterranean dish, or pair it with my Lemon Tahini Cod or, my absolute fave – Babaganoush dip!

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Cauliflower Tabbouleh (Tabouli)

Serves 4

Ingredients: 
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 c riced cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 c Italian/flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
2 tomatoes, chopped

Directions:
1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in nonstick skillet. Cook riced cauliflower for 10 minutes. Stir often. Remove from heat when done.
2.  Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, minus the cauliflower (parsley, mint, cucumber). Stir well. Add cauliflower once cooled.
3. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
4. Chill for at least one hour before serving. Mix in tomatoes right before serving.

Tried my recipe? Comment below or tag me on Instagram!

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Simple Slaw

Simple Slaw

My best friend moved to Raleigh a few weeks ago… it’s her first big move…. sigh. She got a killer job promotion (and a HUGE raise), and I’m so happy she made the decision to start this new chapter of her life. Of course, I had to go visit her asap… can’t let my boo discover her new town all on her own (I mean, she is perfectly capable, but it’s fun for me too).

I was extremely lazy on this trip, which to be honest was quite refreshing. I don’t think I’ve had a 72 hour period of relaxation, de-stressing, and resting in a LONG time. No work, no drama, no problems. Boy, was it nice!

Back to the real world this week – which means, MEAL PREP! I had to go into work the day I came home (Monday) and as much as I wanted to go straight to bed afterwards, I knew I needed to grab some groceries and make food for the week.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m tired, I’m not in the mood to cook anything elaborate. Simplicity is necessary.

I decided I wanted to make a BBQ Chicken Bowl. I love slaw with my barbecue, so I whipped up this non-dairy, tangy, but quite delicious recipe. It is fantastic served with barbecue, on top of a salad (you wouldn’t need dressing!), or as a side dish for dinner. It’s simple, and quick and the secret to its wonderful taste is CELERY SEED. My mom introduced me to celery seed this ingredient is a hidden gem of the spice world. I never see other bloggers or cooks use it…. Why!?

If you want to recreate the bowl I made, I sautéed broccoli and squash stove top, roasted diced sweet potatoes, and threw some chicken in the crock pot overnight with 2 cups of chicken broth, 2 tbsp of Tapatio, and a bottle of Schultz’s Spicy Mesquite Barbecue Sauce – it is made of real ingredients, low sodium, low sugar, and the taste is superb!

This slaw is paleo, vegan, and gluten-free!

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Simple Slaw
Serves:6

For the slaw:
16 oz. of coleslaw mix (any combo of shredded cabbage and carrots)
1/2 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds (any type will do)

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp sesame seed
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, mix shredded cabbage, carrots and pumpkin seeds. Set aside.
2. In another smaller bowl, mix all dressing ingredients together, and whisk well.
3. Pour dressing over slaw, and toss to combine. Add more celery or sesame seeds if you wish.
4. Chill in the refrigerator, or serve immediately.

That was literally the simplest recipe I’ve ever posted. Enjoy!

-xoxo, Amber