Autumn Buckwheat Salad

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Guest Post by Krista A. Parr

Enjoy this colourful, anti-oxidant-rich salad as a side dish or light lunch served over a bed of baby greens. It’ll also be a hit at any potluck! Buckwheat is a gluten-free whole grain packed with B vitamins, zinc, fiber and D-chiro inositol, an important substance for women with PCOS. Choose high-quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and raw walnuts in order to benefit from their healthy fats.

Salad Ingredients:
½ cup unroasted buckwheat
¾ cup water
1 medium-sized yam, peeled and chopped into cubes
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 Tablespoon organic butter or coconut oil (for roasting the yam)
1 granny smith apple, chopped
½ cup pomegranate (substitute unsweetened dried cranberries if you prefer)
½ cup chopped raw walnuts
1 cup feta cheese (look for feta made from goat or sheep milk)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
Zest of 1 medium-sized organic orange (the one you will squeeze juice out of for the dressing)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing, whirl together these ingredients in a jar:
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup pure, organic maple syrup, Grade B or C (dark)

Roast yam cubes in allspice, salt, pepper, and butter or coconut oil for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, until fully cooked but still firm.
While yams are roasting, toast the buckwheat in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. They will give off a nutty aroma and turn darker in color as they toast. Bring the ¾ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the toasted buckwheat and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to sit with the lid on for 5 minutes, and then fluff the buckwheat with a fork.
In a large salad bowl, combine the apple, pomegranate, walnuts, feta cheese, parsley, sage, red onion, garlic, ginger, and orange zest. Once buckwheat and yams have cooled (they can still be warm, just not hot), add them to the bowl along with half of the salad dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Add more salad dressing, if needed. Ideally, allow the salad to sit for at least an hour for the flavours to meld before serving.

Krista A. Parr is a Vancouver Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Root to Fruit Nutrition, specializing in fertility and women’s health.

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