The pumpkin is the kitchen queen of the autumn. In October and November it is often in my kitchen. I like its gentle taste and beautiful colour. This year, as well as traditional pumpkin soup with coconut milk which I have prepared a few times, I have been making pumpkin salads. These colourful, yummy dishes are an excellent autumn proposal for a light dinner or supper. If you would like to prepare something richer, add some pieces of roast meat to the salad. I assure you that your associates will envy the contents of your lunch box.


Today I would like to share with you the recipe for an autumn salad with pumpkin, quinoa, spinach and pomegranate. I add also feta cheese and my favourite roast cashew nuts. Simple vinaigrette is the finishing touch for the yummy dish.


Ingredients
half a butternut pumpkin
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary
salt and pepper
half a pomegranate
100g of feta cheese
100g of quinoa
200g of spinach
a fistful of cashew nuts
1 tablespoon of butter
vinaigrette

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Sometimes in salads it's a case of the fewer ingredients the better. Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a grand, simple and colourful salad. The main ingredient is green beans. You can use ordinary green beans. Because of the fact that my husband did the shopping, I had to use 'mammoth' green beans. In fact the only difference is the width of the pods. Green beans are a rich source of folic acid and fibre. They are light and have a low glycaemic index, so they are recommended for people suffering from diabetes. Nuts are an interesting ingredient of this salad – use your favourite nuts. The second ingredients is a red onion. Pickle it in lemon juice and maple syrup. You can use the pickle as an ingredient of the sauce for the salad.


Ingredients
0.5 kg of green beans
100g of raspberries
100g of feta cheese
1 small red onion
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of olive oil
a fistful of cashew nuts
parsley and peppermint leaves

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When in the summer French beans are on the market stands and the price isn't too high, this vegetable is often on our plates. After the initial period of fascination, when we eat everything to the last bean, there comes a time when we are fed up with them. Then it's time for salads.


Salads are an excellent way to use up leftovers. Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a salad with yellow French beans. The fresh cucumber, chili pepper, nectarine and smoked trout tasted great and looked beautiful on our plates with the French beans. I prepared a honey-lemon dip and ... after a while there wasn't any sign of the French beans.


Ingredients
cooked French beans
lettuce leaves
150g of smoked trout
1 nectarine
2 small fresh cucumbers
half a chilli pepper
a fistful of cashew nuts
dip
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of water
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

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During the weekends I usually cook more traditional dishes, because my children like eating some meat for dinner. When they eat lunch at school, my husband and I prefer to avoid meat. We like salad, groats, vegetables and fruit smoothies. Additionally, the summer heat doesn't encourage us to eat a lot of meat. Sometimes, more for flavour than for need, I sneak in a meat ingredient.


I rarely add fried bacon to salad. Today I did so and it was a great choice. Crunchy slices of bacon are excellent with grilled Belgian endives and spicy strawberry salsa. Maybe the fried bacon will be an incentive for those who prefer meat dishes. Up to now I have used Belgian endives as a kind of lettuce and to add a bit of crunchiness to salads. Today I used it in a different way and I have to say it was very tasty.


Ingredients (for 2 people)
2 Belgian endives
8 thin slices of bacon
salsa:
8 strawberries
half a chili pepper
2 tablespoons of minced basil leaves
¼ of an onion
2 tablespoons of chopped cashew nuts
1 teaspoon of honey
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

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Reportedly, the devil is in the detail, and I think this is true. Sometimes a simple dish with ordinary ingredients is completely different when you serve it in an amazing dish or with surprising extras.


Today I managed to perform this trick on my salad. Because this is the asparagus spear season (long may it last), I prepared a salad with asparagus spears. I combined them with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and eggs. Only the sauce was amazing: lemon-pistachio sauce. It was the first salad I ever served with this sauce, and I'm sure that it won't be the last.


Ingredients (for 3 people)
a bunch of asparagus spears
200g of cherry tomatoes
200g of mozzarella cheese
3 eggs
fresh basil
sauce:
peel and juice of half a lemon
100g of salty pistachios
1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of olive oil

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