This Saturday is Halloween, and on Sunday, many people in the Valley will probably be partaking in cultural celebrations for Dias de los Muertos. Food magazines, newspapers, and blogs are blowing up with last-minute, easy DIY Halloween costumes, treats and snacks to help you out for any parties you might be planning or going to.
I could do that too, and I have done that in the past. However, most of these snacks and treats being written about are the same from year to year. In a pinch, it is easier to just go out and buy candy than make a mess in the kitchen.
Besides, I would rather write about (or rather brag about) something more important than a consumer-driven holiday like Halloween. I want to brag about our home, The Valley, and some news coverage it’s getting this week in a recent article on The Huffington Post titled, “This is Where America Gets Almost All Its Winter Lettuce.”
The article’s main focus is on lettuce production in Yuma, AZ. However, it does mention the Imperial Valley and how a whopping 90% of the lettuce that Americans eat during the winter is produced in the Yuma and Imperial Valley area. Let’s be honest though, I’m not really telling you anything you don’t already know.
What I am here to promote is salads aren’t just for summer! Living in the Valley, you have access to some of the best lettuce around during the winter, and I hope you take advantage of it to make some hearty winter-themed salads. Personally, I like to pair my favorite winter vegetables with either spinach or romaine lettuce to make a hearty winter salad for lunch or a quick dinner.
For a quick lunch salad, I usually go with the following recipe:
Mixture of chopped spinach and romaine lettuce
1 apple, chopped
Handful of cranberries or pomegranate seeds
Handful of walnuts or pecans
2 tablespoons feta or goat cheese
Dressing: balsamic or red wine vinegar
For dinner, I like a little bit of a heartier salad and will roast some butternut squash and Brussel sprouts in the oven (or my cast iron skillet). Then, drizzle an orange honey glaze on top (recipe below). Once they have cooled, I lay them on top a bed of lettuce with some pecans, cranberries, sliced chicken and dinner is served!
Orange Honey Glaze:
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
If you get a chance this week, definitely check out that article on Huffington Post and share it with your friends and family. When you see a farmer in the Valley, thank them for their hard work keeping us fed through the winter!
Take a chance this winter too and try out a hearty winter-themed salad recipe; get creative, you never know what creation you might come up with!