Roasted Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Salad -- Juggling With JuliaGuess what? Here’s your easy do-ahead recipe to go with holiday dinner! Roasted Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing. That’s sweet roasted butternut squash, brown rice, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and  greens — five simple ingredients and a tangy citrus dressing that come together in an amazing taste tableau that will have you smiling between forkfuls.

Since I am still hoarding squash from our summer CSA, this recipe is especially timely. The squash are keeping quite nicely in the garage while I come up with ways to sneak them into dishes. In this salad, though, they are front and center and brighten up every bite with their sweetness. Turns out I didn’t need to sneak them here anyway, since half my family loved it!

(Paying attention? In my family of 5, that makes 2.5 people who like this salad. Casey and Georgia count as half-kids due to their small appetites. True JWJ fans ought to be able to make an educated guess as to who the half-kid is that liked it)

There are a few ways to make this simple recipe even easier. Though I started with a whole butternut squash, you could buy pre-peeled, pre-cut butternut squash (and/or roast ahead of time, another day when you happen to have the oven on anyway).  I also made my own candied walnuts (a super-easy microwave method), but you could also go with store-bought candied walnuts. Finally, as I did here, use frozen brown rice packets instead of cooking from scratch – just 3 minutes in the microwave!

I can’t wait to make this again! So many possibilities! Might add green apple next time, or switch out the rice for farro, or add honey to the dressing, or…

Roasted Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Salad -- Juggling With Julia Roasted Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing
Adapted from Carolyn Kaufman

Prep time: 10-25 minutes     Cook time: 30-40 minutes

2 cups cooked brown rice (or 1 10-oz package frozen brown rice, like Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch pieces
2-3 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling on squash
salt and pepper
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 packed cup of greens (spinach, kale, arugula, baby greens), sliced thinly

Candied Walnuts:
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon water

Dressing:
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the squash chunks in a large mixing bowl and toss with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread on large baking sheet so that each piece is fulling touching the pan (no overlapping pieces). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning over once during cooking, until they are softened and browned. Remove from heat to cool.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the dressing. First, in a small saucepan bring to boil the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and onion. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until the mixture is reduced to about 1/3 of a cup (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in the olive oil and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Next, make the candied walnuts. Put the walnuts, brown sugar, and water into a glass measuring cup or other microwaveable container and mix well. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Stir again, then pour out onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on the counter. Separate the walnuts a bit so they are not in large clumps. They will cool and harden in just a few minutes.

Cook the rice in the microwave according to package directions. Once cooked, transfer the rice to mixing bowl. Add the greens, dried cranberries, and cooled candied walnuts. Add the squash once that is done. Pour the dressing all over and stir gently to combine.

Serve either cold or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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Homemade Whole Wheat Cavatelli Pasta (Guest Post!)

by Julia Robarts on December 9, 2014

in General

Homemade Whole Wheat Cavatelli GUEST POST -- Juggling With JuliaToday is a great example of the blending of my two worlds. There’s my FOOD world, of which you know everything — the endless parade of bacon, peanut butter on everything, salads galore, and all things chocolate chips.

There’s also my NUTRITION world — the day job that allows me to bring home the bacon :) I advise and mentor nutrition students and love giving them a boost in their careers whenever I can.

Today’s post is brought to you by one of those very students – Nicolette. Our paths have crossed frequently over the past year, and we’ve talked as much about food as we have about careers in nutrition! She made some homemade whole wheat cavatelli pasta, took some photos, and decided to share with me. I immediately suggested she write a post. Here she is – in her own words. Enjoy!

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Hi everyone! I’m really excited to share this fun and easy pasta recipe with you ☺ Julie, thank you for welcoming me to the blog!

Here’s my story: Born and raised in New York, I grew up in a traditional Italian family where everything revolves around food. My Granny, who moved from Italy to America when she was 9 years old, lived a few houses down the road and was a huge part of my childhood. While she never learned to drive, Granny sure knew how to cook! She is the one who first taught me how to make homemade pasta, and she is the one who inspired this recipe.

The other day, I was in the mood for pasta (not surprising). I opened up my pantry and found 12 POUNDS OF PASTA! You would think I had enough, right?! Well, apparently not. I decided that it might be fun to make my own. Putting my own twist on a simple pasta recipe, I embraced my inner Italian and went to work.

I encourage you to try this recipe at home. If you’re not actually Italian, don’t worry, you can pretend that you are as you make this recipe!

Please feel free to follow me on Instagram or Twitter (@nicolette__star).
WARNING: I mostly post about food. What can I say, I’m Italian ☺

Xoxo Nicolette Maggiolo

Homemade Whole Wheat Cavatelli Pasta

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups unbleached white whole wheat flour
2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese
2 whole eggs

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, eggs, and ricotta cheese. Fold the eggs and ricotta into the center of the flour. Once folded in, continue mixing by hand (like I did) or use a standard mixer.

2. Knead the dough together until a soft dough ball is formed. If the dough ball is still sticky, consider adding more flour. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

3. After the dough has rested, divide the dough ball into quarters, and then in half again. Take the divided piece of dough (1/8th of the original amount) and roll into a long tube about ¼ inch in diameter. You can coil the tubes of dough to save space if necessary.

Homemade Whole Wheat Cavatelli GUEST POST -- Juggling With Julia Homemade Whole Wheat Cavatelli GUEST POST -- Juggling With Julia4. Using a knife, cut the tubes into 1-inch pieces in length.

5. Holding a butter knife at a 45 degree angle, press on each piece of dough and pull across the length of it (see pics below). This should cause the edges of the dough to curl up like a hot dog bun. It may feel funny at first, but after a few tries you’ll get the hang of it!
Homemade Whole Wheat Cavatelli GUEST POST -- Juggling With Julia Homemade Whole Wheat Cavatelli GUEST POST -- Juggling With Julia6. Place finished cavatelli on a lightly floured baking dish. Once you have made all your cavatelli, place baking dishes in freezer for about 30 minutes (long enough so that the pieces no longer stick together). For storage, place the cavatelli in a Ziploc freezer bag.

7. Cooking: Place frozen cavatelli in pot of rapidly boiling water and cook for about 5-7 minutes. It may only take a few minutes to cook cavatelli which has not been frozen. Usually the cavatelli is done when it floats to the top, but always taste test to make sure!

8. You can serve this pasta with your favorite sauce and/or toppings! I like grandma’s tomato sauce and veggies, but feel free to make this dish your own! MANGIA!

Homemade Whole Wheat Cavatelli GUEST POST -- Juggling With Julia

 

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Rosemary Garlic Roasted Pork Loin

November 25, 2014 Main Meals
Rosemary Garlic Roasted Pork Loin -- Juggling With Julia

Imagine this: It’s a few days post Thanksgiving. You’ve eeked all you can out of the leftovers, and still you have to feed the troops. Dinner sure ain’t gonna make itself, but the thought of doing the full-court press in the kitchen, so soon after Turkey Day, is just a bit too much for you […]

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7 Tips for a Healthy Book Club

November 20, 2014 Healthy Lifestyle
7 Tips for a Healthy Book Club -- Juggling With Julia

Is Book Club making you fat?  Of course not. Books have no calories Really, though, is your book club often an evening of excess? A calorie calamity? Do you leave feeling like you’ve overdone it – again? Then read on, because we’re talking about 7 Tips for a Healthy Book Club. While it’s unlikely that […]

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Chocolate Snickerdoodles on the Lighter Side

November 2, 2014 Dessert
Chocolate Snickerdoodles -- Juggling With Julia

These chocolate snickerdoodles will make your day. They’re chewy and rich in chocolate, and completely covered in cinnamon sugar. Eating one reminds me of hot cocoa with a cinnamon stick inside! Now that these drool-worthy photos have piqued your interest, I’m going to say something that will have you cursing my existence. They’d make a […]

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Local Dairy Farms: My Tour of Hornstra Farms

October 16, 2014 Healthy Lifestyle
Hornstra Farms - Juggling With Julia

Have you ever petted a cow? Looked into her eyes? Marveled at her sheer size? Called her by name? Heyyy, Juanita! Yo, Crackle! Pop! Looking good, Autumn! I have! Thanks to the New England Dairy and Food Council I got to muck around at the Hornstra Farms with registered dietitians Kara Lydon, aka The Foodie […]

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The Simplest Nutrition Philosophy: Don’t Stress

October 14, 2014 Healthy Lifestyle
Nutrition Philosophy Don

What’s  your nutrition philosophy? Making decisions about what to eat can be hard, right? It is no wonder. Nutrition information is coming at us from every directions – TV commercials, magazine ads, food packaging, infomercials, best-selling books, and a score of nutrition enthusiasts who share their stories on social media and blogs, encouraging everyone to […]

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Best Ever Low Fat Pumpkin Bread

October 5, 2014 Breads/Quick Breads
Best Ever Low Fat Pumpkin Bread - Juggling With Julia

Low fat never tasted so amazalicious. Today, with great effort, I’m stopping just long enough to wipe the crumbs from my mouth so I can share with you the best ever, moistest, yummiest low fat pumpkin bread you’ll ever have. It is SO MOIST and SO PUMPKIN-Y that the wax paper I wrapped it in […]

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Quinoa Kale Salad with Edamame

October 1, 2014 Salads/Sides
Quinoa Kale Salad with Edamame -- Juggling With Julia

Quinoa Kale Salad with Edamame and an easy lemony dressing. Yep, I’m back again with another fast, delicious, super-charged healthy salad. If you hadn’t heard, that’s kind of my thing now. What? You hadn’t heard? Let’s review. First there was Massaged Kale Salad, which I’ve made so many times I’ve lost count. I even ate […]

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Opening Day of Lunch-Packing Season

September 9, 2014 Healthy Lifestyle
Opening Day of Lunch Packing Season -- Juggling With Julia

Yesterday was Opening Day for the lunch-packing season (aka the first day of school), and did it ever catch me by surprise. For the past week, in our soccer- and volleyball-filled life, we had been eating take-out pizza, burgers, cold cereal, and lots of bagels. The occasional Caesar salad. Maybe one really yummy truly home-cooked […]

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