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Spinach Salad with Caramelized Pumpkin and Goat Cheese

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Pumpkin is such a wonderful, nutritious ingredient that can be added to sweet and savory dishes. In this spinach salad, the pumpkin is caramelized in the oven and paired with goat cheese, for a touch of tartness. Lightly caramelized almonds compliment this rich salad and add a crunchy bite. This salad is all about enjoying holiday flavors with healthy greens!

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place pumpkin in a clean cutting board. With a sharp knife, remove top of the pumpkin. Scrape off the seeds and discard. Arrange pumpkin on cutting board with cut-off side facing down. Carefully remove skin and discard. Cut pumpkin flesh into chunks of about 1 ½-inch. Transfer pumpkin to a baking dish. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water, mixing well to coat all pieces. Transfer to oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring a couple of times throughout the process, until soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, add almonds and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly until sugar melts and almonds are slightly coated, approximately 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Break almonds apart if there are large pieces sticking together.

Place spinach in a large serving plate and sprinkle with cilantro. Top with pumpkin and drizzle the syrup that has formed on bottom of baking dish. Crumble goat cheese over pumpkin and spread caramelized almonds.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts:

6 Servings

Amount Per Serving
 
Calories 268.2
 
Total Fat 14.1 g
 
Cholesterol 6.5 mg

Sodium 177.5 mg
 
Potassium 362.2 mg
 
Total Carbohydrate 43.1 g
 
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
 
Sugars 39.1 g
 
Protein 5.2 g

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