Thanksgiving is such a special time for family and friends and it is also filled with tons of delicious food. And 9 times out of 10 that food is loaded with fat, salt and preservatives, hence why people tend to put on a few lbs during the holiday season. While we love our traditions here at Sage and Celery, we also believe in balance. So while we like to indulge a little at our Thanksgiving dinner, we love to include a few healthy options for not only ourselves but our entire family. This dish may be missing the unhealthy fat, sugar, and salt but it certainly is not missing the taste. And as an added bonus, you won't even need a serving dish - this salad is served right inside the squash! So when you are finished, you can simply add it to the compost pile.
For the salad, we sautéed shaved brussel sprouts, not only because they are high in Vitamins K and C but they are also delicious. We paired them with thinly sliced apples and then we made this dish even better by adding nutrient-dense quinoa, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Quinoa is considered a complete protein since it has all 9 essential amino acids so this salad is great for vegans looking to add a little protein to their meal (if you want to read more about the health benefits of quinoa, click here). When then used a half roasted acorn squash as the bowl for the salad, and let us tell you, it is SO delicious. This salad gives you everything you'd ever want in one dish: savory, sweet, crunchy and buttery textures. You'll satisfy your non-meat eaters while wow-ing the rest of your family with this perfect Thanksgiving side dish!
Using an acorn squash as a bowl is a super fun way to incorporate a fall vegetable while adding nutrients and flavor to a dish. In fact, acorn squash is found to have significant quantities of Vitamin A and C. If you need help with how to roast the acorn squash and want to learn a little more about its nutritional information, click here.
We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
1 acorn squash cut in half and roasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries - no added sugar
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups shaved Brussel sprouts
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
balsamic glaze, optional
1.) Preheat oven to 400°. Refer to How to Roast an Acorn Squash post if needed. Be sure to scoop out enough squash to form a bowl. Roast squash in halves for 35-45 minutes.
2.) In a medium to large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent then add sliced apples and brussel sprouts, stirring frequently.
3.) Put a lid on top and let it cook for about 5 minutes, checking to stir to prevent burning.
4.) Add in cooked quinoa, cranberries, nut and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5.) Remove squash from the oven and fill with brussel sprout and quinoa mix. Drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.