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Roasted Winter Squash Salad


Prep Time

10 Minutes

Cooking Time

20-30 Minutes


8-10 Servings


1 large butternut or kabocha squash

olive oil

sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper

2 heads red-leaf or 1 head romaine lettuce

4 oz. raw walnuts

4 oz. blue cheese ( or feta)

balsamic vinaigrette* (preferably homemade)

pomegranate seeds


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Half, then remove seeds from squash, chop into chunks (no need to peel!). Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan. When you first smell the sweetness wafting from the oven, give the squash chunks a turn with a spatula, then roast about 10-15 minutes more. It’s done when fork tender and a bit browned: about 20-30 minutes total. (The smaller the pieces, the faster it cooks). Note that a little browning or “caramelizing” is a good thing as it brings out the natural sweetness!.

While squash cooks, wash the lettuce, seed the pomegranates, make the vinaigrette, crumble the blue cheese and set aside.

Once done, let squash cool, and then toss over lettuce. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.

Crumble blue cheese over top and add walnuts. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top for added pizzazz!


*Balsamic Vinaigrette: 3 oz (or 1/3 c) balsamic vinegar (good quality),  pinch of sea salt, few grinds of fresh cracked black pepper, 4 oz or (1/4 c) flaxseed or extra virgin olive oil

Directions:Add vinegar, salt and pepper to small coffee or measuring cup. Whisk together or stir quickly with a fork. Add oil, then stir or whisk some more.

Christmas Chili with Kale and Kidney Beans


Cooking Time

25 minutes


8 servings


2 Tbsp Olive or Grapeseed oil

1 red onion, halved and peeled

3 ribs celery (about 1 cup chopped)

3 carrot sticks, grated or chopped (about 1 cup)

1 jalapeno, sliced and seeded

1 ½ tsp chili powder

1 ½ tsp cumin

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

½ tsp crushed red chili flakes, optional

1 tsp garlic powder

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 can fire-roasted tomatoes

1 cup water or broth

2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 big bag baby kale, torn (or 1 large bunch cut into ribbons)

Garnish – 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped, optional


Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Chop and drop onions, then celery, then carrots into the pot. Then mince and add the jalapeno. Stir well to combine and then measure in each of the spices and seasoning. Stir again.

Add the tomatoes, and then the kidney beans. Bring to a simmer and cook a few minutes until the veggies are crisp tender.

Then, mix in the kale and toss well. Simmer a few minutes more until the kale is tender (2-3 minutes for baby kale, longer for mature kale leaves).

Ladle into bowls and serve immediately & garnish with optional avocado. Or, make ahead and keep in a crockpot on low to share at an open house or potluck type gathering.


While flying home from my annual Thanksgiving yoga retreat in Nicaragua, I was inspired to combine red kidney beans with green kale into a Christmas-colored chili. (Where do I get these crazy ideas?) And, voila – first try, it came out wonderfully flavorful in less than 25 minutes. Packed in a crockpot, I toted it to the yoga studio to test it and everyone (including the meat eaters) loved it! You will, too.