A good source of carotenoids; vitamins A, B6, C; and folate, butternut squash is also rich in phytochemicals, which convert into antioxidants, thought to not only help prevent macular degeneration, but also reduce the risk for certain cancers and cardiovascular problems. This is a pretty salad that offers a colorful change of pace with its roasted squash, goat cheese, pecans, and cranberries.
Recipe from Eat Right for Your Sight: Simple Tasty Recipes That Help Reduce the Risk of Vision Loss from Macular Degeneration, By Jennifer Trainer Thompson and Johanna M. Seddon, copyright © American Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2014. Photo courtesy Jason Houston. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into half-inch chunks (about two cups)
- 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 five-ounce bag baby greens
- 1/4 Cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 Cup pecan halves, lightly chopped
- 1/4 Cup crumbled goat cheese
- 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon freshly snipped chives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the agave nectar, and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake until tender and golden, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing after 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the baby greens, cranberries, pecans, and goat cheese in a salad bowl. Top with the butternut squash. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, vinegar, mustard, chives, ¼ teaspoon salt, and extra pepper into a vinaigrette and toss with the salad. Serve immediately.