Fall harvest roasted squash and cranberry salad

Here is what you will need to get started.


  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp chili powder (choose your heat level)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 small squash (delicata-unpeeled or butternut-peeled) cut into 1/4 inch half circles
  • 1 bunch kale, shredded
  • 4 cups shredded brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup shredded hard cheese (optional)
  • dressing: extra virgin olive oil with lemon and/or vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, mix together 1 Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss in delicata squash to coat. On parchment lined baking sheet arrange squash in a single layer and transfer to oven, roasting for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.
  2. Line another baking sheet with parchment. Toss the pepitas, 1Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, the cayenne and a dash of salt. Arrange on bake sheet and transfer to oven to cook for a very short while! It will only take about 5 minutes to toast the pepitas.
  3. While you wait for the squash to roast, in a large salad bowl, combine kale (squeeze some lemon on top), brussels sprouts and cranberries.
  4. Add roasted delicata squash, gently tossing. Season with salt and pepper, add pepitas and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Add extra virgin olive oil and more lemon for a light dressing.

Recipe notes: If roasting squash is new for you, test doneness with a fork–it should be tender and soft. Also, if you are using a cheese go with a manchego. This is the perfect salad to make for Thanksgiving. Really.

Let me know what you think of this recipe! If you have any questions just post them below. Also, as many recipes go, my inspiration comes from http://www.halfbakedharvest.com

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

“Tradition and science agree that there are common dietary principals that promote longevity, deeply rooted in the choices we make as well as our lifestyle habits as a whole.” Lisa Mosconi“Brain Food.”

Should you care about food that specifically helps your brain? Probably–especially if you spend your days in the doldrums of forgetfulness and hazy headspace. Food can be an easy first step.

If food is information to your cells (and it is) how are you communicating with your cells? Did you know that after just one meal you are able to shift your unique microbiome?! One meal.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

Set forth is a little list of foods to incorporate into your diet, oh and did I mention dark chocolate is on the list? Putting more of these into your diet will boost your brainpower, sound good!?

  1. Berries especially blueberries
  2. Dark green veggies such as broccoli
  3. Fatty fish such as wild salmon, sardines and caviar
  4. Nuts and seeds such as walnuts and pumpkin seeds
  5. Healthy oils like olive oil and coconut and flaxseed oil
  6. Complex carbs such as sweet potatoes
  7. Turmeric
  8. Eggs
  9. Avocados
  10. Cacao or dark chocolate (Yeh!)
  11. Water
  12. Beverages such as coffee, black/green tea and red wine

These foods are rich in antioxidants (antioxidants help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals). And by eating more of the foods that are listed above you will be supporting the body with removal of everyday toxins. That’s a win because according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) within the US there is a massive inventory of more than 85,000 chemicals listed under substances that fall within the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

These foods are also rich in flavonoids (flavonoids are various compounds found naturally in many fruits and vegetables).  These types of compounds have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect in the brain.

Eat foods that fortify!

Want to do more research? Check out the following books:

“The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner. Check out where these blue zones are on the planet and what it takes to live there.

“Limitless” by Jim Kwik. A book full of techniques to upgrade your brain, learn faster and live an exceptional life.

“Brain Food” by Lisa Mosconi. Is about eating for cognitive health.

Anything to add? I love hearing from you. Just comment below.

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