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Friday, March 1, 2013

Harvest Salad

This past week I have been seeking out healthy meals I can cook in advance and eat throughout the week. I had the idea to make a pasta salad of sorts which could be eaten either cold or hot! I used Trader Joe's amazing grain blend as my base which includes: Israeli couscous, orzo, garbanzo, and red quinoa. I also added a whole slew of ingredients to my salad to add color and texture: toasted almonds, dried cranberries, basil, and butternut squash. I made my own salad dressing to pull all of my ingredients together. I think you are going to love this recipe! Check it out:

1 package Trader Joe's Harvest grain blend
1 butternut squash, cubed
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 bunch chopped fresh basil 

Maple Balsamic Dressing:
(makes 1 1/2 cups- store extra for future use)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil 
3 tbsp real maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white sugar 
2 tbsp minced garlic

Shake all ingredients together in mason jar and refrigerate.

Cook harvest grains to package directions and set aside. Meanwhile, bring pot of water to boil. Add cubed butternut squash and cook until tender. Drain. In large bowl, toss cooked harvest blend, butternut quash, almonds, cranberries and fresh basil. Dress with about 1/3 dressing or until grains are lightly coated. Serve warm or refrigerate for later meals. Enjoy!

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