Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons with its cooler temperatures, colorful Fall foliage and return to eating heartier fare, like my crockpot beef barley soup. The only problem? We really don’t experience much of a traditional Fall in Southern California. And I miss it, especially when the end of September was so dang hot. Folks, I’m ready to put away my shorts and wear capris instead. 🙂
Plus, hot weather is a real mixed bag for me when it comes to exercise too. When it’s hot, I don’t want to set foot outside my apartment. And that’s bad. When it’s hot, my appetite is tiny. And that’s good. Like I said, mixed bag! It was also a bit pathetic since my main form of exercise is swimming, which should feel extra good on a hot day. And yet I still didn’t want to go outside. The good news is more temperate weather arrived this week and will hopefully stick around for the next nine months!
Carbs, Carbs and Less Carbs
But enough boo-hooing about the hot weather, let’s talk food. Admittedly, it was a bit hard for me to get into “Fall” food when it felt like July outside for most of September. I wasn’t racing to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte (although you should try my delicious homemade crockpot version) but many of my friends were. I am, however, trying to take advantage of the Fall fruits and vegetables in season, especially those that are helping me continue to eat healthy.
I’ve been really, really trying to be more mindful about my carb intake. I still eat them but not at the volume I was before. Right now, I still permit myself to eat one serving of fruit and one naughty carb (bread, pasta or bread) per day. Now I put a lot thought into that one naughty carb in order to achieve maximum enjoyment and minimize any nasty feelings of deprivation, which often lead to binging.
A Hearty Good-For-You Salad to Enjoy this Fall
And that’s where this salad comes in. It’s a very balanced dish with quinoa, kale, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. The quinoa and butternut squash make it hearty with the pumpkin seeds adding some crunch and the cranberries provide little tartness and sweetness.
It’s also a great side dish because it pairs beautifully with most proteins, from steak to pork tenderloin to grilled chicken. It’s filling, wholesome and easily adaptable. I typically add another veggie (asparagus, broccoli, green beans) and protein to make a meal that tastes delicious and is good for me.
Also, please note I’ve decided to cut back on posting in October. I’ll still have a food post every Thursday, but no Monday posts until October 31. Why? Because the Max Man has to show-off his Halloween costume. I am such a mean Mama!
Enjoy the salad; it is delicious!