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Sharing a delicious meal ‘good for the soul’

‘I love bringing people together and sharing a delicious meal,’ says Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Katie Griffin. ‘It’s so good for the soul. This salad was a real hit and it’s a great one to make ahead of time so you can spend more time with your guests instead of slaving away in the kitchen.’

Starchy vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots and squash are in season during the colder months and this provides the perfect opportunity to give our digestive system a break from the abundance of raw salads consumed over the summer months, says Katie.

These vegetables provide a naturally gluten-free, whole food source of complex carbohydrates. They are high in fibre so support a healthy digestive system and the orange vegetables also contain beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) is an antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage. Pair this vibrant salad with your favourite protein (chicken, beef, lamb, fish, lentils) and a side of steamed or sautéed green vegetables to create a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

Katie's vegetable salad

Ingredients

1 large pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes

(You can also use a mix of kumara or sweet potato and pumpkin)

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped

200g feta, crumbled (omit if avoiding dairy)

1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced (include seeds)

½ cup roughly chopped coriander

Dressing:

Ingredients

Zest and juice of 4 limes or 3 lemons

2 tbsp tamari or gluten-free soy sauce

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

• Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

• Mix together pumpkin pieces and olive oil in a roasting dish and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden and soft.

• Allow pumpkin to cool and then mix with the other ingredients.

• To make dressing, shake all ingredients together in a small jar.

• Toss the dressing through pumpkin mixture and serve.

Squash and pumpkin are high in fibre to support a healthy digestive system and also contain beta-carotene. Pictures supplied
Katie Griffin