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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fall Endive Cup: Butternut Squash and Apple Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

I received a call to cater a Women's Health event recently; how could I say no too an opportunity to whip up healthy delicious food for a group that would totally appreciate it?

This Fall-filled Endive Cup was the hit of the night! For the event I used endive cups (see the images at the bottom of this page); you can see I used kale leaves for these photos, butter lettuce would work really well too. Kale is NOT for everyone so go with what you like. You could even toss this with lettuce or spinach and serve as a side salad (would be perfect on your Thanksgiving table.)

Roasted butternut squash just pairs so well with fresh apple. The maple balsamic dressing screams warm fall flavors with a breeze of sweetness. Since maple syrup is derived from nature, it offers nutrients like iron, calcium and zinc with fewer calories than refined sugar which is void of any nutritional content. Maple syrup also has a low glycemic index making it ideal for those with diabetes.

Try these super yummy Fat and Happy squash and apple filled lettuce cups, it's a healthy way to enjoy the fall goods.

Fat and Happy Tips and Techniques: Dice the ingredients the same or similar size for the best flavor and texture results.

Fall-filled Endive Cup

Butternut Squash and Apple Salad 
with Maple Balsamic Dressing

2 cups butternut squash, raw, diced small
1/2 tbls olive oil
1 cup apple, peeled and diced small
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
1/4 cup celery, diced small
1/4 cup dried cherries, rough chopped
Maple Balsamic Dressing
Endive leaves, butter lettuce or Kale
Pepita (pumpkin) seeds (optional)

 Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the diced squash with the olive oil, spread out on a cookie sheet and roast until just fork tender. Depending on your oven and the size of the dice, this should only take 10 -20 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to avoid getting too mushy. Remove from oven and cool.

Clean  and ready the endive, butter or kale leaves.

Toss the roasted squash, apple, onion, celery and cherries together with about half of the dressing. Spoon the salad mixture into the lettuce leaves, then drizzle with a bit more of the maple balsamic dressing (you may not need all of the dressing- add to your liking.) Sprinkle with pepita seeds if using.

Maple Balsamic Dressing

3 tbls olive oil
3 tbls balsamic vinegar
1 tbls dijon mustard
1 tbls maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1 small shallot (or garlic clove), minced
good pinch of salt and pepper

Place all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. 
Taste and adjust to you liking- add a little more maple syrup if you like sweeter or additional mustard for a bit more tang.

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