Strawberry Pecan Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Strawberry Pecan Salad with EASY Balsamic Vinaigrette (Vegetarian)
Strawberry Pecan Salad with EASY Balsamic Vinaigrette (Vegetarian)

This will be somewhat short and sweet folks! Both the post and the recipe 🙂

It’s been a crazy few weeks with a sick husband and a sick daughter, a very busy time at work and continuing to adjust to Molly being in Kindergarten (both her and me LOL). I’ve been going easy on myself when it comes to meal planning, sticking with simple and easy recipes and cooking whatever I think my family will eat, even if that means multiple dishes at one time (something I’ve been against for the past few years). This salad was made just for me on a night when I made the kids Daiya mac and cheese (I’m not a fan but the kids love it and since Oliver is lactose intolerant, it works for him) and A made himself a sandwich. I was craving the balsamic vinegar and strawberry combo, and it never hurts to add goat cheese (unless you’re vegan, in which case, just leave it off!). For the sake of preparing meals quickly, I either buy my greens pre-washed and packaged up, or I chop them up at the beginning of the week and toss them in a container with a wet paper towel to keep them crisp. I also try and cut up fruit so that it’s all ready to go to toss in with Molly’s lunch or serve for dessert.

And now I’m off to get ourselves ready for the long weekend! It’s Thanksgiving here on Monday and we’re heading to my in-laws for a few days. If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, what are you up to?

Strawberry Pecan Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
A light salad for one person, easily made vegan by omitting the goat cheese and using agave syrup instead of honey in the vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • 2-3 handfuls salad greens
  • ½ cup strawberries, chopped
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped (and toasted if you prefer)
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese (omit if vegan)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey (use agave syrup for a vegan dressing)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. In a larger bowl, add salad greens and strawberries.
  2. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and mustard. Add to salad and mix well.
  3. Top with pecans and goat cheese. Enjoy!

 

Autumn Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

For the first time this year, we subscribed to a CSA. If you’re not familiar, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically you buy a share of fruits and vegetables from a local farm at the beginning of the summer and for 20 weeks you’re supplied weekly with fresh, local produce. Our day care has an agreement with a nearby farm to have CSA shares dropped off at their facility and we can pick it up there when we get the kids. It saves me the delivery fee!


Combined with what we grew ourselves, we haven’t really had to buy much produce other than fruits that don’t grow locally (bananas!) or things that we go through quickly (you would not believe how fast my kids can go through a pint of berries). And because I don’t do much cooking feom scratch during the week (frozen veggies are a gift from the Gods), I often find myself with a surplus to use up over the weekend.  

Enter this salad!  I had an acorn squash from the CSA, kale from our garden, and I hadn’t yet found a use for some tri-coloured quinoa I bought at Bulk Barn a few weeks ago. 


Pause for confession: I have a slight addiction to bulk food stores. My pantry is overflowing with plastic bags filled with all sorts of goodies: Quinoa, lentils, and dried beans; various types of flours and grains; several kinds of salts and sugars; nuts and seeds. I try to store them in Mason jars, but there’s definitely a back log. The last time I was there I saw some interesting looking pastas that will soon be making their way home with me. 


I bought the tri-coloured quinoa because it was so pretty!  The black beans aren’t necessary but added another punch of protein and fibre. 

And the vinaigrette!  Sweet and tangy with just enough hint of garlic. Yum! It makes a ton, so I gave some to my sister and took the remainder to work to eat during the week. It’s not a dish the rest of my family was interested in 🙂 

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Autumn Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Recipe Type: Lunch, Dinner

Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian

Author: Christina

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 6 servings

A hearty and delicious salad that can be served warm or cold

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 acorn squash, diced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup tri-coloured quinoa (or regular if that’s what you have)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and add to boiling water. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the broth is absorbed.
  3. Put the chopped kale into a bowl and add the lemon juice and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Using your hands, massage the lemon juice and oil into the kale to soften it
  4. At medium-high heat, add remaining oil to a non-stick pan. Add squash and brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash starts to brown and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  5. To make the vinaigrette, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, garlic and salt and pepper and mix well.
  6. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, black beans, squash, kale and pumpkin seeds. Add Maple Dijon dressing and mix.
  7. Enjoy warm or cold