Taste for Health - Warm Butternut Squash Salad

March 08, 2017

For this Taste for Health, we made warm butternut squash salad with a tangerine vinaigrette. The butternut squash is packed with vitamin A which plays a vital role in bone growth, reproduction and immune system health. It also is a good addition to a lunch salad to help keep you satiated. The spinach provides many vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and K.  Vitamin C boosts the immune system while vitamin K helps play a role in blood clotting and preventing heart disease.  The rosemary adds flavor, but its essential oils also work as an anti-inflammatory and to aid in memory improvement. The tangerine adds a nice splash of springtime to this salad, while also providing more vitamin C.

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To make this salad, we first began by steaming the squash, which helps preserve more nutrients than boiling or cooking in the oven. We then toasted the squash for extra warmth and flavor. We used the same parchment paper to toast the dried cranberries and the pecans, so we would not create more waste. We also composted all our food scraps, which will eventually decompose into soil to be used to grow new plants.

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INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tangerines
6 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup toasted pecans

While the squash is steaming, peel 2 tangerines and slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, removing any seeds. Juice the remaining tangerine and whisk the juice together with olive oil and rosemary. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Combine the warm squash, the spinach, tangerine slices, pecans and cranberries with the dressing and toss gently to coat. Divide among salad plates.

If you are interested in for Taste for Health demonstrations like this one, check out another lunch recipe here.

Taste for Health 3/8/17

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