Roasted Brussel Sprout, Butternut, and Quinoa Salad, with homemade dried cranberries

http://thegreeneberger.com/p/recipes.html?recipe_id=6039325

I’ve had this recipe posted for awhile, but I’ve made a few updates and wanted to highlight it again because I just love it!  The flavors and combination of ingredients are so unique, and yet so simple and festive, you can’t help but love it as an addition to any holiday get together.

If your family is only used to the traditional corn casseroles and canned cranberry sauce this time of year, I’d encourage you to rock the boat and take this fun dish to really shake things up!

I like this recipe because it combines my favorites all into one.  Plus, I can make a large batch and continue to enjoy my leftovers for a few days following.  I secretly hope not all of it will be eaten so I have a nice addition to my lunch the next day. 
Selfish?…mmmm just honest.

I’ve also included my method for making homemade cranberries.  Dried cranberries from the store are deceptively full of sugar and vegetable oils. Have you ever tasted a REAL cranberry?  It’s not sweet at all, it’s SOUR!  Several years ago I tried one and thought it was the worst…bitter, tart, yuck.  Now I actually can eat them plain and like them! It’s amazing how your taste buds change when you get excess added sugar out of your diet…you can really appreciate real foods and even crave some of those other tastes besides sweet.

Of course you can use store bought cranberries for this recipe.  I’d encourage you to look for ones at the Health Food Store that are sweetened with juice. 

      http://thegreeneberger.com/p/recipes.html?recipe_id=6039325http://thegreeneberger.com/p/recipes.html?recipe_id=6039325

Roasted Brussel Sprout, Butternut, and Quinoa Salad
Print Recipe
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
45 minutes
Roasted Brussel Sprout, Butternut, and Quinoa Salad
Print Recipe
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel the butternut and cut into cubes. Cut the stems off the Brussels Sprouts and cut into quarters. Slice the onion and mince the garlic.
  3. Spread butternut, Brussels Sprouts, and onion onto a roasting pan or into a deep baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for about 45 min-1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the foil after 30 minutes and stir in minced garlic and 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil; continue roasting uncovered until tender, but not over-done.
  4. While the butternut is roasting, prepare the quinoa. Thoroughly rinse quinoa prior to cooking. Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or on the stove by simmering over medium low heat for 15-20 min. For this recipe: 1 cup quinoa=scant 2 cups water. When finished, drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Add in fresh or dried oregano and rosemary. Cover to keep warm.
  5. Toss the roasted vegetables in with the Quinoa. Stir in dried cranberries and maple syrup and toss mixture until seasonings and ingredients are mixed evenly. Add additional seasonings if desired. Serve warm
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How to Make your Own Dried Cranberries

This recipe allows you to control how much sweetener is added to the berries. 
I like mine tart with a hint of sweetness.  These also make a great addition to oatmeal, yogurt, and holiday cookies!
 
Health benefits of Cranberries: Not only are they naturally low in sugar, but these little berries pack phytonutrients (anthocyanin and flavinoids) that have anti-cancer properties, as well as the ability to help lower LDL cholesterol.  They also exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.

    1. Purchase 1 or 2 bags of fresh cranberries (organic)
    2. Cut each berry in half (this is the most time intensive part but they must be cut in order for it to work)
    3. Fill a large bowl with warm water and stir in 1/4 cup raw sugar to make a sugar water.  Place the cut berries into the bowl and allow to soak overnight.
    4. Strain water from soaked berries and return to bowl.  Toss the berries with 2 Tbsp. of honey and 1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil.
    5. Dehydration can be done 2 ways:
    1. Transfer berries to a baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.  Place in oven at 200 degrees F and bake, stirring occasionally for several hours until the berries reach desired texture.
    2. Place berries in dehydrator at about 120 degrees.  Allow to dehydrate for 6-8 hours until dry but still tender.  Be careful not to over-dry or they will be too chewy.

You may take a look when finished and think, “where’s the berries!”  This is a natural response to dehydration.  Just think, your raisins used to be big juicy grapes, and are now itty bity dried fruits.  This is why I suggest doing as many bags at once as you are able to avoid repeating this process multiple times.

The Finished Product

 

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