Another happy Meatless Monday!
Today I wanted to share one of my favorite hearty, nutritious, and GORGEOUS salads that is not only so simple to prepare, but a great make-ahead meal to have for lunch throughout the week: Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Rice Salad. This untraditional and warm grain salad is packed with the comforting seasonal flavors we crave without the ‘comfort food calories’ and can be easily made and assembled over the weekend, and then dressed with the bright cilantro and olive oil dressing on-the-go. Feel free to serve yours with a few slices of ripe avocado or crushed walnuts for some extra protein punch. Enjoy!
Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Rice Salad
Makes 4 servings
- 3 cups of pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 cups cooked wild rice*
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Toss the pumpkin in olive oil and salt, and turn out onto a baking sheet. At the same time, toss the onions with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and turn out onto a separate baking sheet. Roast both for about 45 minutes, or until squash is brown and caramelized. The same goes for the onions, they should be deeply colored, caramelized, and soft throughout by the time they are done roasting. You’ll need to flip both the squash and onion pieces once or twice along the way – so it’s not just one side that is browning.
- In the meantime, make the dressing. With a hand blender or food processor puree the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and honey until creamy. You may need to add a few tablespoons of warm water to thin the dressing a bit. Stir in the cilantro, saving just a bit to garnish the final plate later. Taste and adjust seasonings (or flavors) to your liking – I usually need to add a touch more salt with this dressing.
- In a large bowl, toss the wild rice with a large dollop of the dressing. Add the onions, gently toss just once or twice. Turn the rice and onions out onto a platter and top with the roasted squash (I’ll very gently toss with my hands here to disperse the pumpkin a bit). Finish with another drizzle of dressing and any remaining chopped cilantro.
- * To cook wild rice: Rinse 1 1/2 cups wild rice. In a medium sauce pan bring the rice and 4 1/2 cups salted water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and splitting open, stirring occasionally. You’ll have enough for this recipe and some leftover.
Nutritional Information per serving:
Fat: 23 g
Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 7 mg
Carbohydrate: 37.7 g
Fiber: 3.6 g
Sugar: 10 g
Protein: 6 g
Calcium: 46.3 mg