Wild Rice Butternut Squash Salad

Are you planning your menu for Thanksgiving? It looks like I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year, so I’m excited to try a few new recipes in addition to our family favorites. This is one of the dishes I’m planning to make. It’s refreshing and the flavors scream fall. Both my husband and I loved it, the kids weren’t sold on it, but I’m going to make it anyway.

Do you experiment with new dishes for holidays or stick with your family favorites? Share your Thanksgiving sides with me! I’m always looking for new ideas.

2 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced kale, lightly massaged
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 cups cooked wild rice, warm

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the cubed butternut squash with the olive oil and spread over a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 25 minutes until the squash is fork tender.

While the squash is roasting, combine all the dressing ingredients together and mix with an immersion blender.

In a bowl, combine the kale, cranberries and basil. Toss in the warm rice and roasted squash to slightly wilt the kale. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper if needed. This salad should be served at room temperature.

Source: Heart Beet Kitchen 

Chicken Bacon & Wild Rice Soup

It’s feeling like fall today – with temperatures barely in the 60s and the leaves are really starting to change colors. While I really love this season, there’s been no transition from summer to fall. I made this soup last week when it was still warm, but I’m wishing I had made it again this weekend because it’s definitely soup weather today!

The bacon adds just the right amount of flavor and saltiness and it’s a lighter cream soup..not super heavy and goes perfect with a hunk of crusty bread. This is the kind of soup you make in the morning and let simmer all day and then it’s ready for dinner. I would be great to start a dinner party or for lunch as leftovers!
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
dash of fresh ground pepper
2 cups half and half
2 cups chicken breast, cubed
8 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy and then crumbled
In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock and water. Add the wild rice and scallions, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. There will be liquid remaining, do not drain. 
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the flour, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook for one minute until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Slowly add in the half and half, stirring continuously until the mixture has thickened. Add the thickened cream mixture to the rice and mix in the cubed chicken and bacon. Cook on low for at least a half an hour. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors combine and the soup thickens. 
Adapted Slightly from: My Sweet Savannah