Hi! I'm Alison.

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Winter Squash Wreaths (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Winter Squash Wreaths (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars
Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars

Exactly one week from today is Winter Solstice, the first day of winter!! Last year, I threw a celebration for it which was filled with tapas, candles and festivities including WREATH MAKING. Well, this year, I thought about making wreaths again... but this time, they're edible :) This salty-sweet-fresh appetizer is as delicious as it is lovely and it's perfect for the holiday season. Starting with my favorite - roasted acorn squash, topped with a kale-almond relish, drizzled with a maple-tahini sauce and topped off with pomegranate and hemp seeds. SO GOOD and SO FUN to make. 

Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars
Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars
Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars
Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars

Did you know wreaths have been around since the Greco-Roman empire? First, to wear (think of the Olympic games)... symbolizing status and accomplishment, then it snowballed into more of a decoration to symbolize overcoming the harsh winter and then that brings us to the Christmas wreath which symbolizes immortality. They're not just for the winter or for Christmas, but year-around using seasonal plants and greenery. Well these wreaths are seasonal too, obvi! Winter squash, kale and pomegranates. And while I wouldn't wear it on my head or hang it on my door... placing a slab of them makes for a gorgeous table decoration at your next dinner party. We eat with our eyes first after all :) 

Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season with gatherings filled with loved ones and lots of healthy food! XO


Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars

Ingredients

serves 8

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste

Topping:

  • 2 leaves curly kale
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • optional: sprinkle of hemp seeds

Maple-Tahini Drizzle:

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400f degrees.
  2. Prep a baking sheet with un-bleached parchment paper.
  3. Slice acorn squash into circles by first halving the squash and then CAREFULLY chopping into circles as best you can (be patient). I suggest using a chef's knife for larger cuts, and keeping a paring knife handy in case you need something smaller. You can also just cut them into crescent moon shapes and piece together when serving.
  4. Add slices to a large plastic freezer bag and add the tsp of olive oil, toss around to coat the squash and lay out on the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over top and roast for 25-30 minutes until well cooked but not overly brown.
  5. While they cool, make the kale-almond topping by combining all ingredients into a food processor except the pomegranate seeds. Pulse until chunky but well combined like a relish or pesto.
  6. Once squash is cool enough to handle, place on the tray you'll be serving on (I used the same baking sheet without parchment paper). Then, using a regular teaspoon, you can spoon out the kale and using your fingers shape it onto half of the squash pieces making "wreaths". 
  7. Next, combine ingredients for the maple-tahini drizzle until very smooth (use more/less water depending on how it's coming together, my tahini was very thick so I needed the water to make it more fluid). 
  8. Drizzle maple-tahini sauce over tops of the wreaths and then sprinkle pomegranates and hemp seeds! Aren't they pretty?? Serve and enjoy!
Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars
Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars
Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars
Winter Squash Wreaths (vegan, gluten-free) via Food by Mars
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Hope you enjoy!
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**Alison
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