Fall Chopped Superfood Salad
The first official fall weekend of the year is forecasted to feel like summer, so a crunchy, bright salad tossed with the flavors of autumn seems like the perfect way to showcase some of this week’s seasonal produce. With sweet roasted winter squash, tart apples, earthy beets and a citrus dijon vinaigrette, this Fall Chopped Superfood Salad is a delicious way to savor the last warm days while embracing the new season.
Can we take a second to admire all of the amazing colors in this week’s box? From the orange hues of the winter squash, to the golden and ruby-striped beets, to the emerald green kale and the rainbow-tinted peppers, it’s a real feast for the eyes and the taste buds! Like all of our produce boxes, this week’s haul is full of delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables, many of which we consider to be superfoods. While there isn’t a formal definition or criteria to classify a food as a “superfood”, they’re commonly plant-based, nutrient-dense and contain a high concentration of healthy phytochemicals.
Many of the pigments that color the produce in our box, like the carotenoids in winter squash and betalains in beets, are antioxidant phytochemicals which may be protective against diseases like certain cancers and heart disease. Eating lots of different colored fruits and vegetables is the best way to get a variety of phytochemicals in your diet. We’re so happy to help you add more healthy color to your plates week after week!
Fall Chopped Superfood Salad with Citrus Dijon Vinaigrette
Active time: 30 Min.
Total time: 40 Min.
Servings: 2 main dish salads
For the Salad:
4 cups peeled and cubed Perfectly Imperfect butternut or acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup uncooked red (or white) quinoa
1 bunch Perfectly Imperfect kale, shredded or finely chopped
1-2 Perfectly Imperfect beets, peeled and diced small*
1-2 small Perfectly Imperfect golden delicious apples, diced
1 cup shelled edamame (thawed if frozen)
¼ cup diced Perfectly Imperfect red onion
¼ cup toasted salted pepitas or sliced almonds
¼ cup dried cranberries
For the Citrus Dijon Vinaigrette:
1 Perfectly Imperfect orange, juiced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cubed squash with the olive oil and season to taste with salt. Spread the squash in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 25 minutes, or until just fork-tender; set aside to cool.
Bring ¾ cup water and a very small pinch of salt to boil in a small lidded sauce pan. Add the quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. This water to quinoa ratio results in al dente quinoa, which holds up best when tossed with salads. If you prefer more tender quinoa, add ¼ cup more water.
While the squash and quinoa cook, prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and salt in a jar, then shake it up until well combined.
To prepare the salad, start by tossing the shredded kale with the vinaigrette (as much as you like to taste) in a very large bowl. Using clean hands, massage the kale for 1-2 minutes. This works in the vinaigrette, helps to tenderize the kale, and reduces bitterness. Then, fold in the butternut/acorn squash, quinoa, beets, apple, edamame, red onion, pepitas or almonds, and dried cranberries until well combined. Divide the salad between two bowls.
*This salad incorporates the beets raw. If you prefer the flavor of roasted beets, roast them with the cubed squash.
How will you eat up the colorful end of summer and early fall produce in this week's box? Show us how you're enjoying it all and we'll share it to inspire others. Tag us @perfectlyimperfectproduce on Facebook and Instagram.