Every year my kids look forward to Thanksgiving, not so much for the food and post gluttony but, weather news for early snow.
Mother nature did not disappoint us this year. Ski season started Thanksgiving weekend, which made my son super excited. He dusted his ski boots that he pulled from the attic and off he went with his friends.
Living in California you are never too far from outdoor fun anytime of the year. As far as I can remember ski trips with friends has been a highlight for my kids every winter. We buy our seasonal passes, homework gets done Friday night and Saturday we head to the slopes early at 6:00 a.m, which my kids have found to be the best time. We live about an hour forty minutes away from the first resort. So we get there before the crowds from the city arrive and get a few quick runs before the lines start to build up for the lifts.
A few years back I had a ski accident making me decide to stay away from the slopes, a stupid decision on my part to follow my kids on the black diamond, that left me with a torn ACL and meniscus. After a couple of surgeries and three months on crutches I hung up my boots and now watch my kids enjoy.
When my kids were little it was always hotdogs and hot chocolate after skiing. As they are getting older now they ask for more a hearty meal. Its spicy chicken tortilla soup, a family favorite to defrost the numb fingers and fire up the internal heating as my son would say! it’s the physical heat and the chemical heat.
So I made a large pot of a hearty, spicy, chicken tortilla soup with lots of veggies however, before I could prop and photograph I had hungry teenage boys storm my kitchen looking for food and slurped up the pot in seconds. No Kidding!
I am posting this salad instead, which I made to go with the soup and complete the meal.
Winter is a time for warm soups, spicy curries and roast dinners. It’s hard to imagine eating a cool crunchy salad this time of the year. Thankfully there are plenty of winter produce to enjoy without resorting to the traditional lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers.
Vitamin C boosting citrus, jewel toned pomegranate, sunshine colored squashes and chlorophyll bursting Brassica.
This salad I made has all of that. It’s colorful to look at when its snowy and cloudy outside, it’s warming with spicy ginger and packed with nutritious fruit and vegetables to keep the winter blues at bay.
Here is the recipe
- 2 cups brussel sprouts cleaned and halved, about 10-12 pieces
- 1/2 a small squash. I used Kuri
- Arils of 1/2 medium pomegranate
- handful of baby leaves. spinach or kale
- 1 cup white quinoa cleaned, rinsed cooked in 2 cups of water or broth
- 1 small bunch green onions, sliced
- 8-10 pieces chestnuts or 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil to brush the veggies
- 2 tablespoon hazelnut or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- juice from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoon agave nectar
- juice extracted from 2 inches of ginger ( see instructions)
- salt and pepper
- Lightly coat the brussel sprouts, squash and chestnuts and roast in a 400 F oven for 20 minutes. Cut the squash into 2 inch cubes and shell the chestnuts. Set aside and keep warm.
- Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water or broth after throughly rinsing in cool water and carefully straining. Keep aside and cool slightly.
- In a small food processor, run 2 inch piece ginger with orange juice. Strain it through a small sieve and extract as much liquid as you can without the pulp.
- In a large mixing bowl add the ginger/oj juice blend, lemon juice, agave, oil, salt and pepper and blend .
- Add the quinoa to the dressing so it soaks the dressing followed by the roast veggies.
- Just before serving toss the greens, sliced spring onions and pomegranate arils.