Well, Thanksgiving is officially done and over (insert sad face) and everyone is already onto Christmas (ok, insert happy face). Self included. We decorated the entire house this weekend, inside and out. That said, it is still Autumn, people. Despite the gnarly winter storms that have already clobbered the east coast, we still have another three weeks of fall. I feel like poor fall always gets rushed. We want to hang onto the last bits of summer and then we rush into winter with the holidays. My point is, how quickly we discard all things pumpkin for gingerbread, egg nog, peppermints sticks and the like, the minute Thanksgiving is over.
Many winter squashes and pumpkins are still in season and need our attention. Don’t leave them in your dust in favor of a Peppermint Mocha, quite yet. You can have your holiday yummies too, but just remember that pumpkins and other winter squashes are still in season. Need more convincing not to ditch these orange beauties just yet? Read this amazing History of Pumpkins from my friend Tori Avery for PBS Food.
Truthfully, I first made this salad a couple weeks ago but since I still have one last pumpkin left, I plan to make this one final time before the season is officially behind us. It’s far too good to wait until next fall and it’s way too amazing not to share with you guys. If it’s already hard to find pie pumpkins near you, this recipe would also work great with other hearty squash, like butternut or acorn.
This salad is full of incredible flavors in addition to all of the healthy nutritional benefits. The red curry roasted pumpkin and fennel are such a special treat with a robust but subtle kick. Evident in the thousands of red curry pumpkin soup recipes floating around the web, we all know these flavors marry together so well, but the addition of fennel to this salad is a unique but appropriate compliment. Roasted fennel is one of my very favorite things. Soft and tender, it brings almost a completely different flavor profile than when it’s raw. PS try red curry roasting other robust winter vegetables, too while you are at it – it’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy roasted vegetables.
Swiss chard brings the hearty green element to this dish, that I look for in a fall or winter salad, but feel free to opt for kale, spinach or even collard greens, if that’s what you have on hand. The toasted quinoa cooking in veggie broth takes this salad from your run of the mill side salad to a meal on it’s own, with some added protein and fiber (and all of it’s other great nutritional goodness), the hemp seeds I sprinkle on top, which are totally optional, are another great way to add protein to this dish, plus healthy omega fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants and minerals.
[print_this]Red Curry Roasted Pumpkin and Fennel Quinoa Salad (gluten-free, grain-free and vegan)
- 1 – small (2.5 to 3lb) pie pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed and cut into wedges
- 1 small bulb fennel, stalks cut off, cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon melted organic coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth or water
- 1 large bunch of Swiss Chard, stems removed and roughly chopped*
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon Terra Delyssa Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 tablespoon organic hemp seeds, optional
- handful fresh cilantro
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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