Anyone else completely over winter? I am so done with it. I do not hate winter, although I definitely prefer warmer weather, like 100%. Winter can be beautiful with everything coated in a glistening layer of sparkling snow. Winter makes drinking coffee more justifiable and let’s be real-outdoor skating dates are just about the cutest thing ever. However, winter with a baby that weighs 20 pounds, isn’t too fabulous. The layers, the slick sweaty heads that result from the layers, the half-ass naps that are such a tease, and don’t even get me started on the Canadian snow storms. I could just be extra sensitive to the subject because my city has been dumped on too many times in too tight of a time frame. Don’t worry; I won’t leave this post in a Debbie Downer vibe-that is so not like me. I will have you know that no matter how winter goes, it definitely makes me appreciate spring and summer that much more. In fact, I cherish my appreciation so much that I am not sure I could ever live somewhere without snow. I know I would miss it and I fear that I would take far too many beautiful sunny days for granted which is so wrong.
So on days like today, I will hang out in our cozy home away from the blowing wind and overwhelming piles of snow. I will cherish every sip of hot coffee and enjoy every bite of homemade food that I prepare. I find that on gloomy days where I know I will be hanging indoors that I crave bright and refreshing plates. Salads are life on housebound days. All of those nutrients, all of those plant healing powers work their magic in replacing what we miss when we skip spending time in nature. And dudes, salads do not have to be boring-ever. Can we finally get rid of that offensive stereotype? Salads can literally be anything we want them to be. Instead of taking on a New Year’s resolution of eating healthier, let’s vow to be more bad-ass. Let’s be bad-asses and make killer salads that will get anybody drooling-I’ll start. Let this Winter Squash Salad be an inspiration and join me in creating gourmet plates full of life and love.
Winter Squash Salad
1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
1⁄2 cup spinach or arugula
1 cup cooked butternut squash, cut in cubes
1 pear, cut in cubes
1⁄4 red onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. walnut pieces
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
Place all ingredients in a large bowl or on a plate and top with dressing.
Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing *Makes 1⁄2 cup
1/8 cup plain Greek yogurt
1⁄4 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1.5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tsp. honey
1.5 Tsp. water
1.5 Tsp. poppy seeds
1⁄2 Tsp. lemon juice
1⁄2 Tsp. dry mustard
1⁄4 Tsp. garlic powder
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly and pour generously over your salad.
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CHANTAL URBINA is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”