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Butternut Squash Winter Salad USA

INGREDIENTS

1/2 a butternut squash, chopped into cubes

1 cup of quinoa, cooked according to packet instructions

Large handful of fresh coriander (approx 20 grams), roughly chopped

Seeds from half a pomegranate

3/4 cup of cubed manchego cheese (we used one coated in rosemary and thyme)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

3 dates, pitted and finely chopped

1 cayenne pepper, very finely chopped

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

Olive oil

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of light soy sauce

Coriander or cilantro is a wonderful source of nutrients.

METHOD

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the squash and cook, turning gently and regularly, until golden brown and tender (not falling apart).

2. Meanwhile, mix the garlic, dates, cayenne pepper, sugar, soy sauce and sesame sauce in a bowl.

3. Mix the quinoa with most of the pomegranate and coriander, saving enough to garnish.

4. When the butternut squash is golden brown and tender, add the mixture (garlic, dates, etc.) and the cheese. Toss over a very low heat until the butternut squash and cheese are well coated.

5. Add the butternut squash and cheese to the quinoa, garnish with remaining pomegranate and coriander and serve!

Butternut squash is incredibly versatile vegetable.

Butternut squash is loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C, while containing less than 100 calories and 26 carbohydrates per cup. 1 cup of this versatile winter squash also contains almost 500mg of potassium, 7 grams of fibre and about 17% of your RDA of manganese. It can help to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract, improve eyesight, keep bones healthy and reduce inflammation.

Quinoa is among the least allergenic of the 'grains' (it actually comes from the same family as beets, spinach and chard) and has high anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. The grain contains a small amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, a higher content of mono-saturated fat than common cereal grains and is one of the most protein-rich foods in the world.

Coriander is used to treat skin inflammation, high cholesterol levels, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, anaemia, indigestion, menstrual disorders, smallpox and conjunctivitis. This herb has eleven components of essential oils, six types of acids, minerals and vitamins.

Pomegranate seeds are low in calories and rich in fibre. They are also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also rich in specific polyphenols, such as tannins, quercetin and anthocyanins, which may promote heart health and have anti-cancer properties. Pomegranate seeds may also reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases and aid weight management.

Manchego cheese is made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep from the manchega breed and is a good source of calcium, which promotes healthy bones. It contains less fat than other cheeses and is also naturally low in lactose, making it more suitable for sensitive stomaches.

Garlic was often prescribed by Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, to treat a number of medical conditions. It has very few calories, is very nutritious and can combat sickness such as the common cold. Garlic can also reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol, lower the risk of heart disease and improve bone health. It also contains antioxidants, which may prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Dates are rich in fibre, potassium, magnesium and copper. Health benefits include: promoting digestive health and relieving constipation; boosting heart health; weight loss; treating chronic conditions such as arthritis; preventing colon cancer; promoting a healthy pregnancy and delivery; and boosting brain health. N.B. Dates also have a high sugar content

Cayenne peppers are used therapeutically in many societies. They help to treat a variety of ailments including gout, heartburn, delirium, tremors, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, scarlet fever, tonsillitis and diphtheria. They are a well-known digestive aid and can also prevent migraines. Cayenne is also a circulatory stimulant, which supports detox and promotes longevity.

Brown sugar is manufactured in a different way to white sugar, which results in a different chemical structure. The process allows the sugary molasses to remain in its structure, leaving the final product in a more natural state. Brown sugar also has more flavour and texture than white sugar.

Soy sauce is low in calories and is a good source of vitamin B3, iron, phosphorous and manganese. Recent studies have suggested that it may be able to provide some digestive tract benefits Soy sauce is also, however, high in sodium and it is recommended that daily sodium intake is limited.

Sesame oil has been used in a number of ways including treating burns, preventing skin-related disorders and to promote oral health. This oil has also been shown to combat diabetes, reduce blood pressure and promote heart health.

Olive oil is known for its numerous health benefits. It is rich in mono-saturated fats and helps to lower the risk of heart disease. It contains the phytonutrient oleocanthal, which reduces inflamation and can reduce the risk of breast cancer and its reoccurrence.

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