12 October, 2011

Roasted Butternut with Arugula and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I love my lunch salads these days, and although I have posted a similar recipe sometime ago, I'd  like to share this one with you: it's a salad that I had for lunch at a cafe recently that I really liked because of its simplicity. Yet, it doesn't lack any flavor, and, needless to say, the nutritional value of it makes it all worth it even more. It's sweet roasted pumpkin on a bed of arugula leaves, spiced with a simple dressing and sprinkled with tart sun-dried tomatoes and sweet roasted pine nuts. Add grilled chicken strips if you want, and I assure you, it will leave you full and satisfied for a long time. You can eat a full bowl of it without feeling guilty. A perfect lunch salad.

The more I learn about nutrition, the more I experiment with one or the other forms of a diet, the more I learn about my body and how it reacts on foods. I have been trying to go grain-free as much as possible lately, and I must say I feel great. I have been trying to be refined-sugar free for a long time, and it's feeling good. I do well with chicken and fish in my diet. I find it hard to give up dairy in form of milk in my coffee or tea and yogurt. I love my beans and lentils.

I guess, everyone has to find out for themselves, what's good for them. Education is the key, and a basic understanding of what food does to your body is essential, and far too often missing when I talk to people about their nutrition.
I often have the impression, that people are not even aware of direct reactions of their bodies to the foods they eat. So please, speak up, swim against the current and tell people whenever you have a chance, how important it is to take care of one's nutrition: that fruit juices and breakfast cereals are not healthy, that white breads and processed meats have no nutritional value. That whole foods are the way to go.

It takes a long time to convince people that their eating habits are wrong. It took me more than 30 years to realize that I ate the wrong foods. But once, you realize what it does to your overall well-being, your mood, your energy levels and your immune system, you will know you are on the right path. Once this reality has sunken in, I seriously cannot imagine anyone going back to old eating patterns.
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ROASTED BUTTERNUT WITH ARUGULA AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES


2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon olive oil
pinch of salt

4 cups arugula, washed and dried
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoon pine nuts 

1 cup grilled chicken breast, cut into strips (optional)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Serves 4
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Preheat oven to 220C/400F.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of olive oil and salt over butternut cubes and toss until coated. Spread out in single layer on a baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until soft.

In a dry pan, roast the pine nuts for a couple of minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside.
Pour boiling water over the sun-dried tomatoes and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and chop finely. Set aside.
Combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar and whisk until well combined.

Put arugula leaves into serving bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss until coated. Add roasted pumpkin and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Ready to serve.

6 comments:

  1. That is a great point about how everyone needs to find what works for them. I'm learning a lot also -- including from your blog. Last night, actually I also roasted some sweet potatoes and acorn squash, tossed with chopped garlic, almonds, and endive greens. With a honey apple balsamic vinaigrette, it really was a great dish. Great idea to have it as a stand alone lunch!

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  2. i like your pictures and would like to invite you to share them on tastingspot.com

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  3. Simple to make and yet looks so delicious. love the photo, nice post.

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  4. Loved the post, could not agree more! Once you realize the impact food has on your health it's hard to imagine anyone going back to bad eating habits. BTW, the salad looks really good too.

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  5. So true! Whenever I eat "not so good" for a couple of days, I feel it right away. My energy level goes down, I feel bloated, tired, physically and emotionally. Eating right is so good for your body, and can taste incredibly good too, sometimes even more so than all the junk we are used to eating.

    And your salad looks super yummy Anja. Funny, I had something very similar yesterday, with roasted beets, grilled butternut squash and white beans.

    I love your flavor combination here... the pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes are a match made in heaven and must go really well with the roasted pumpkin and arugula. Love it! :)

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  6. I hate salads and I have been looking for one that it tastes good. So I will try it out that it tastes good for me.

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