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Recipe: Warming Winter Salads

Warm Leek and Mushroom Salad

I often want a cool, refeshing salad during the summer but in colder months, I want dishes that are just as easy but a little more filling.  Winter salads can be just that – served warm or cold, they’re filling, easy, and packed with antioxidants that will keep you healthy through flu season.  Here are a few winter salad ideas – or, post your own below!

  • Warm Kale and Sweet Potato – You could definitely make this with leftover roasted sweet potato but I like to sauté sweet onion for about 2-3 minutes in a little olive oil, add half cup of chicken broth and diced sweet potato, simmering until the sweet potato is mostly cooked.  Then add kale and any spices (I like rosemary and crushed red pepper).  Once the kale is wilted, your salad is done!

Other additions: butter beans, parmesan cheese or green beans.

  • Grated Beet with Jalapeno and Ginger – Easy, simple, and raw but filling.  Make a dressing of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a handful of chopped cilantro to give it a burst of flavor.  This recipe is best made a day in advance.

Other additions: grated carrot, low fat yogurt, or cumin.

  • Roasted Fennel and Pear – Usually, I’m not a fan of fruit in my meals but I love this combination.  Roughly chop the fennel then toss in a little olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes in a 400°F oven.  Over salad greens (I like arugula), add sliced pears, walnuts, fennel, and any balsamic dressing.

Other additions: blue cheese, grapes, or celery.

  •  Butternut Squash Salad – Sauté chopped butternut squash and a chopped sweet onion in apple cider and olive oil (in a single layer in a pan – don’t overcrowd!) for about 15 minutes or until slightly browned on the outside.  Serve butternut squash and onion over mixed greens with shaved fennel and an apple cider vinegar dressing.

 Other additions: Shallots, cranberries, or goat cheese.

  •  Warm Leek and Mushroom – I love mushrooms and you can use any variety that you have on hand for this salad.  Sauté the mushrooms over medium-high heat until slightly browned.  Remove from pan and reduce heat.  In a little olive oil, sauté roughly chopped leeks with 1-2 cloves chopped garlic for about 5-7 mintues, or until soft.  Combine in a bowl and toss with champagne vinegar, a little olive oil, and toasted pine nuts.

Other additions: Wild rice, goat cheese, or parsley.

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