Solstice Salads: Winter Jewels

During the winter months, I add more root veggies to my dishes. The lighter salad greens  are replaced by darker greens and the veggies are hardier. I also like to use the jewel-toned veggies to brighten up the table, since the landscape outside is somewhat barren. At least my table is colorful, reflecting some of the colorful leaves of fall, my favorite season. (My next posting on the 21st is for the Solstice, where I talk about the beauty of leafless trees.)

The first dish uses roasted butternut squash as a main ingredient. (I had a similar salad at a restaurant a few weeks ago and realized that diced or chunky squash could be used as a main ingredient, but if cut smaller could be used as gluten-free croutons, or maybe “squotons.”)

The second dish uses purple cabbage, joined by yellow beets and orange carrots for a jewel of a salad. Both can add colorful to your holiday meals. Enjoy!


Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Utensils: Cutting board and knife, baking pan, bowl for tossing and a serving platter
Prep. Time: About 20 minutes with pre-roasted squash
Cooking Time: About 20-30 minutes for squash
Categories: Vegan (V), No Sugar Added (NSA), Gluten-Free (GF)

Ingredients (Organic if available)

one cup roasted squash, cut in chunks for main ingredient or diced for croutons (Can be roasted the day before or earlier in the day.)
(Note: I used squash chunks already peeled and cut into larger pieces*)
1/2 cup broken pecans or walnuts—optional
1- 2 Tbl. coconut oil or ghee for tossing squash
a few slices of (watermelon) radishes
red cabbage cut into large pieces, the same size as you would use for lettuce, about 8-10   pieces
1/4 ripe avocado, sliced
2-3 tsp. olive or macadamia or sesame oil for tossing
microgreens or jar sprouts
kosher salt (and black pepper, optional)

Roasted Squash with Pecans


  1. Toss squash with coconut oil or ghee and bake in a 350 degree oven until squash can be pierced easily with a fork. You will need about 30 minutes for larger pieces and 20 minutes for crouton-sized pieces. (Also, feel free to toss also with herbs of your liking, such as curry powder, Italian herbs, or rosemary and thyme.) If you do this the day before, place cooked squash in fridge, covered. If at meal timer, cool in fridge while assembling other ingredients. (Add pecans or walnuts during last 10 minutes, if using.)
  2. Wash and cut or slice other veggies: cabbage, radish, and avocado. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive and a pinch or two of kosher salt (and pepper, if using), mac nut oil or sesame oil. Add cooled squash pieces and toss again.
  3. Place the salad on a serving platter, add sliced avocado and garnish with microgreens or jar sprouts (ex, alfalfa, clover, radish,  etc.)Serves 2 to 4, depending on what else is on your menu.
    : If using the smaller squash as croutons, you can add them at the very end instead of tossing with the salad and eliminate the micro greens or sprouts, since the croutons will be the garnish.


Pickles & Cabbage Salad

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, scrub brush for veggies, small bowls, hand grater or food processor, serving platter
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Vegan (V), No Sugar Added (NSA), Gluten-Free (GF)

Ingredients (Organic if available)

1/2 of a small purple cabbage, grated finely (about 1 cup)
1/4 of a yellow beet, scrubbed, peeled and grated finely
1 orange or yellow carrot, scrubbed and grated finely (if organic, keep skin on)
1 (purple daikon) radish, washed, peeled and sliced and/or two or three wedges of watermelon radish if available
1 dill pickle (I use Bubbies made without vinegar), cut into bite-sized pieces
sunflower seeds for garnish (optional)
Kosher salt (pinch)
2-3 tablespoons organic olive oil or (toasted) sesame oil

1. Wash and grate the cabbage. Place in a small bowl. Scrub and grate all the root veggies except radishes. Cut separately and place in separate bowls.
2. Wash and cut radishes into circles or wedges and place in a  small bowl.
3. Dice the pickle and place in a bowl.
4. To assemble the salad, spread grated purple cabbage on the plate in a circle form. Then add grated yellow beet on top, but leave a rim of purple from the cabbage. Next, add, grated carrot,  leaving a rim of the beet. Finally, sprinkle the diced pickle over the grated veggies.
5. Add slices or wedges of whatever radishes you are using. Add a pinch of Kosher salt. Sprinkle olive oil on all the veggies. Do not toss. The person eating the salad can toss the different veggies together on his or her plate.

Serves 2-4 depending on what else is on the menu. (I ate half for my dinner.)

P.S. The recipe posting before this featured potato pancakes (latkes) and I promised I would report back when we made them, because I was going to try to make sweet potato latkes. I did, adding an egg because sweet potatoes are not as wet as white potatoes when they are grated. The result was  a cross between a sweet potato omelet or scrambled eggs with grated sweet potatoes. I’ll stick to white potatoes!


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