Butternut Squash, Quinoa, Spinach, Walnut Fall Salad

kale-quinoa-016With fall beginning to show its splendor, we naturally begin to seek out warmth and comfort foods.  This vegetarian/vegan recipe is great for pregnant mamas due to its high protein and nutrient content.  This is a perfect meal or side dish for lunch or dinner (heck, or even breakfast!)

  • Walnuts are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial to fetal brain development, and contain protein.
  • Spinach is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, and folic acid.
  • Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins and manganese (essential for the production of white and red blood cell).
  • Butternut squash contains protein, Vitamins A, C, E and B6, and folate, as well as potassium.

Each serving of this dish has 14 grams of protein, 7 mg of iron, 239 mg of calcium, and 9 grams of fiber.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin Italian olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 cups baby spinach or kale
  • 2 tablespoons toasted chopped walnuts

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (5 minutes).
  2. Add the broth, squash, quinoa and raisins and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the squash and quinoa are tender (15 to 20 minutes).
  3. Gently stir in the spinach and cook until it just begins to wilt (2 to 3 minutes).
  4. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with walnuts.  Serve and enjoy!

Recipe: “Bowl of Goodness”

quinoa-kale-500This fast and easy meal is packed with protein and nutrients pregnant and new mamas need.

  • The quinoa, a grain that can be purchased at most grocery stores, is vegan, gluten-free and a complete protein.
  • The kale packs a big punch of vitamins A, C, and K, omegas, and calcium.  It has more iron than beef.
  • The avocado is a heart-healthy fat and contains fiber, potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana), vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid.
  • The eggs, considered “brain food” for your baby, are a great protein source and contain cholesterol, essential fatty acids, calcium, iron and vitamins A, D, E, and K, which babies and mamas need.

This recipe serves one, so feel free to multiply the recipe, or make more quinoa ahead of time to make meal preparation even easier.

Ingredients:
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 bunch kale, destemmed, torn into pieces
1/2 avocado, cubed
1 egg
Sea salt
Ground pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus an extra splash or two
1/8 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling over kale prior to roasting (you can also use coconut oil, which is great for mama’s connective tissues and may reduce likelihood of stretch marks)
Splash of your favorite hot sauce, if desired (you might want to skip if you have heartburn)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Dizzle kale with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and place on baking sheet prior to roasting.
  • Roast kale for 12-15 minutes, turning at least once throughout the process.
  • In a serving bowl, mix 1/8 cup olive oil with lemon, sea salt, and pepper.
  • Add quinoa into in olive oil mixture.
  • Top with avocado and then roasted kale
  • Fry egg over medium heat, about 3 minutes each side, season with sea salt and pepper, and place on top of kale.
  • Splash a drop or three of your favorite hot sauce on top.
  • Cut into egg and mix all these happy, healthy ingredients together.

Enjoy mamas!