Okay, I know it’s not even Halloween yet but Target already has their winter/ Christmas decorations on display so I think it’s fully reasonable to start building my Thanksgiving repertoire of recipes. As the sole gluten intolerant member of my family (the only vegetarian too), Thanksgiving is a time of laughter, catching up, standing around the kitchen while my chef uncle directs us all and… happily bringing a few dishes that are definitely Katie-safe. And let me tell you, this Autumn salad with it’s maple glazed carrots, tangy pomegranates, creamy goat cheese, and earthy pecans is going to make all 5 million of my relatives realize the gluten free vegetarian life- yeah, it’s delicious!
To this salad’s credit, it’s already had a dry run. I actually created this Autumn Salad for my 12 year old baby sister Molly. In the kitchen, she’s a mini me. Zoodles, homemade hummus and pesto, if I make it she’ll eat it- even if it’s a vegetable! She’s also about as in love with pomegranates as I am (tough to do, trust me), so I decided to design a salad that had both some of her favorites and some soon-to-be-favorites.
So on the list of Molly favorites, there’s the pomegranate seeds (more on my favorite de-seeding method coming!) and the goat cheese. We actually had to hide it from her the night we got it so it would last until I made this salad the next day, she’s obsessed!
And for something new: the carrots. I used a really good quality maple syrup (not the pancake stuff) and simply roasted them until they were sweet, caramely, soft (not mushy, never mushy), really until they were just perfect. Overall all of this combined with the crunchy pecans is just so much texture and flavor, I think my chef uncle will be proud of me for this one (and maybe borrow the recipe!).
**I didn’t include a dressing recipe here, I just used the simplest balsamic vinaigrette- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil & 1.5 Tbsp balsamic**
Okay, pomegranates, let’s talk.
I’ve tried every way and back to deseed a pomegranate without turning bright pink (so many lost tee shirts, doomed to the only-for-working-out pile because of pomegranate splatter). I’ve tried the banging method, the peeling method, the rolling method, if it’s out there I’ve tried it. But the very best method I’ve used, aka my I’ll only deseed pomegranates this way forever method, is the water method. It’s simple…
- Wash the pomegranate then cut an X in the top
- Fill a big bowl with water
- Submerge and divide into quarters.
- Working on 1 quarter at a time, deseed as you usually would just completely submerged in the bowl. The seeds will sink and you can mostly pull the pith out (I keep a garbage next to me for this task) but anything you miss will float to the top
That’s it! I do also like to do multiple pomegranates at once (usually 4!). 15 minutes of work at once gives me amazing deliciousness all week, so it’s a part of my weekend food prep!
- 1 cup carrots (peeled & chopped)
- 1/2 Tbsp butter/ non-dairy butter
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- sprinkle salt & pepper
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 3 oz crumbled goat cheese
- 1/3 cup pecans
- Heat oven to 350.
- Toss carrots, syrup, & butter. Roast 25 minutes or until soft.
- Toss everything together and enjoy!
- 260 calories, 18g fat* 21 carbs, 9g protein
- This is a higher fat salad because of the pecans and the cheese (those two contribute 15 of the 18 grams per serving!). If you want to cut down on the fat try reduced fat goat cheese or use less pecans or just enjoy it as is!