1. WARM QUINOA, SWEET POTATO, KALE & POMEGRANATE SALAD
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium/large sweet potato, peeled, chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
3 packed cups kale, stems removed, chopped
3 cups cooked quinoa or 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup fresh pomegranate arils
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from about 1-2 oranges)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly cracked pepper
If you don't have cooked quinoa, start with that. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly with cool water for at least 2 minutes. Drain. Rinsing quinoa before cooking will remove its natural bitter or soapy taste.
Transfer to a saucepan, cover with stock, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes on the lowest setting. Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside. (This will make a little bit more cooked quinoa than what you will need for the salad).
Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add sweet potatoes and paprika. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Stir to cover the sweet potatoes with the spice. Cook on medium heat until brown on the outside and soft on the inside, about 10 minutes. When they are almost ready, stir in maple syrup and finish cooking.
Add kale and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups of cooked quinoa, stir and cook until warm.
Turn off the heat and add onion and pomegranate.
In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice and olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
Drizzle over warm salad, toss and serve immediately.
If making this salad ahead, add the dressing at the last minute. Quinoa will soak up all the moisture.
2. BUTTERNUT SQUASH, POMEGRANATE, AND GOAT CHEESE SPINACH SALAD
5 cups (1 1/2 lbs) cubed butternut squash, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
10 oz baby spinach
1 1/4 cups pomegranate arils
4 - 6 oz goat cheese or feta, crumbled
1/2 cup olive
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp minced shallot
2 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash in a mound on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to evenly coat in oil. Spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes then remove from oven and toss. Return to oven and bake until tender, about 10 minutes longer. Allow to cool several minutes before adding to salad.
In a large salad bowl toss together spinach, squash, 1/2 of the pecans and 1/2 of the pomegranate arils. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and gently toss. Sprinkle with remaining pecans, pomegranate arils and goat cheese and serve immediately.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper). Process until well emulsified.
3. STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST WITH GOAT CHEESE AND POMEGRANATES
4 Chicken breasts
4 Oz Goat Cheese
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Shallots, minced (about 4 small shallots)
2/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Pomegranate juice
1/4 Cup Low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 Cup Pomegranate arils
1/4 Cup Fresh basil, diced
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cut a pocket into the center of each chicken breast, using a sharp knife,, making sure to not cut all the way through the breast.
Stuff each pocket with 1 oz of goat cheese and sprinkle each breast with a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder.
In a large pan , heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium/high heat.
Cook the chicken breasts until lightly golden brown on each side (about 1-2 minutes per side.) Use tongs to flip the chicken as it helps to keep all that cheese inside. However, some cheese may ooze out as it begins to warm up.
Once browned, transfer the chicken to the prepared baking dish and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the shallots right into the same pan the chicken was in.
Cook the shallots until soft (about 2-3 minutes.)
Add in the balsamic vinegar, pomegranate juice, chicken broth, brown sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stiring constantly, until the sauce just begins to reduce and thicken (about 4-5 minutes.)
Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken breasts and bake until they are cooked through (15-20 mins.)
Serve each chicken breast drizzled with some of the leftover sauce, pomegranate seeds and fresh basil.
4 . POMEGRANATE AND DARK CHOCOLATE BITES
2 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds
5.25 ounces (150 grams) dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon sea salt
Across 12 muffin cups, sprinkle a single layer of pomegranate seeds.
Add the melted dark chocolate to a piping bag or plastic bag. Snip off the end, so a small stream of chocolate can come out.
Pipe a crisscross pattern of chocolate across the pomegranate seeds. Add another layer of pomegranate seeds, then more chocolate, and then the last layer of pomegranate seeds.
Finish with a pinch of sea salt on each of the pom chocolate bites.
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. After removing from the fridge, serve immediately.