Pumpkin Kale Qunioa Tacos with Smoky Cranberry Salsa
Im starting to get in a festive mood for the holidays. It's cool outside, Halloween is upon us, thanksgiving is just around the corner and before you know it, Christmas will be knocking on the door. The house is decorated with fall leaves and pumpkins, I've got my hot tea and my favorite throw to curl up under and oh, so many fall recipes I want to try and eat.
Recently, I overcame a huge barrier in my cooking life...pumpkin roasting. The mere thought of it pained me. Nothing sounded more daunting especially since pumpkin comes perfectly prepped in a can. Although, it sounded like a huge hassle, I put on my big girl pants, drove down to the Trader Joe's and bought an adorable sugar pie pumpkin (they're the smaller ones, don't roast a big carving pumpkin, you will just get frustrated, and maybe cut a finger off wrestling with it). The result....delicious. The method...so easy. I don't know why I hadn't done this before. The plus side of this project-- I knew I was getting real pumpkin and not a mash up of other squash varieties. If you didn't read the article on canned pumpkin, check it out here. Roasted pumpkin has a very mild flavor, it's not as sweet as butternut squash, but its still extremely versatile. It's also easier to prepare than butternut squash, which is why its now my favorite fall gourd to eat. Oh wait, I've always loved it, I just no longer eat it out of a can.
Check out these roasted kale quinoa taco recipe. Its great on Tuesdays but fitting for any day.
Roasted Cranberry Salsa
- 1 12 oz bag of cranberries
- 1 large jalapeno
- 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup green onion
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Salt to taste
Pumpkin Kale Quinoa Tacos
- 1/2 Pie Pumpkin (use the other half in a pie, or in aanother fall salad)
- 1/2 bunch Kale
- 3/4 T Olive Oil Divided
- 1/2 cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of water (you can sub 1 cup vegetable broth for the veggie base and water)
- 1 tsp veggie base (see above notes)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 6 corn tortillas
- handful roasted walnuts
Empty the bag of fresh cranberries in a sauce pan with 1/2 cup of coconut sugar. Let cook on medium low until the cranberries are soft, about 8 minutes. Place in a medium bowl, and add remaining ingredients. Stir until combined and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rinse your pumpkin and cut in half. Remove all the string and seeds with a spoon, drizzle with a light coat of olive oil and place cut side down on a prepped sheet pan (I like to cover in foil for easier clean up). Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes until tender when you poke with a fork. Let cool for about 5 minutes, cut each half into strips and peel the skin away from the flesh easily. From here you can cube half your pumpkin and gently toss it with your quinoa. It will be on the soft side.
Rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa, place in a medium sauce pan with 1 cup of veggie stock (or 1 tsp vegetable base in one cup of hot water, I like organic Better than Bouillon), add 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp of chili powder and a pinch of salt.
Lightly saute in 1/4 Tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt. Its ready when it turns a more vibrant shade of green.
Heat your corn tortillas, I like to heat mine directly over the fire for a charred look and flavor. But a stack of them wrapped in a wet paper towel for 25 seconds in the microwave gets them nice and steamy. Place pumpkin and quinoa in your tortilla, then add a hearty amount of kale and top with the cranberry salsa. Garnish with chopped walnuts. Sink your teeth into this delicious fall taco and fall in love.
Makes 6-8 Six-inch Tacos.
Don't be scared of roasting pumpkins, they're pretty darn tasty. Try this healthy taco option and let me know how fresh roasted pumpkin has changed your life. I cant wait to hear!
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Lots of Love and Hugs,
Carrie - LettuceBeDifferent