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Chef Wendell: Fall salad

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In autumn, seasonal deep red cranberries and orange root veggies are plentiful and affordable. Let’s not wait till Thanksgiving Day to eat these super healthy, vitamin-packed gifts of the garden. Consider filling your pantry with fresh fall veggies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains that can reduce your chances of acquiring chronic disease. When you are healthy, you are naturally happy.

1st Segment: Vitamin content of Fall fruits, seeds and vegetables. Cook quinoa, prep and roast sweet potatoes. When you are healthy, you are happy!

2nd segment: Make salad dressing. Assemble salad. Continue discussing the mental / physical advantages of eating closer to earth.

  • When you are healthy you are happy.
  • Achieved by eating closer to earth / our design.
  • A good society is built one (nourished) person at a time.


  • Vitamin C, E, dietary fiber, and manganese, K, copper and pantothenic acid
  • Improves immune function: lower the frequency of cold and flu symptoms.
  • Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
  • The deeper red, the more beneficial.
  • Promotes gastrointestinal and oral health.
  • Lowers LDL (bad) and raise HDL (good) cholesterol,
  • Aids in recovery from stroke.
  • Cranberry juice with sugar cannot provide you much nutrition.
  • Whole cranberries do a better job of protecting our cardiovascular system and liver.
  • Cranberries may help prevent bacterial attachment to the lining of the urinary tract, and stomach ulcers.

Sweet potato:

  • High in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and, due to their orange color, high in carotenoids.
  • Roasting actually releases more beta-carotene in some plant foods.


  • High in vitamins K, A and C.
  • A good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, necessary for heart health.

What you’ll need for Fall Quinoa Salad:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa (yield: 3 cups)-protein and fiber
  • Himalayan salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium sweet potato, washed and sliced into circles then half-moons-A and fiber
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, thinly sliced and stems removed-anti-inflammatory
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/3 cup blanched cranberries-anti-inflammatory
  • Boiled egg
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tbsp. raw honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds-zinc
  • ½ cup crumbled feta

Don’t forget to:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Rub oil on sweet potato half-moons and place them on a baking sheet and roast until tender and golden, 15 minutes. Let cool a little.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray to cool completely.
  • In another small saucepan, cover cranberries with water; bring it to a boil and shut off heat; allow to set for a few minutes. Drain and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together quinoa, sweet potato, kale, pecans, salt and pepper and cranberries. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, sage, honey and oil. Drizzle over salad and toss gently to combine.
  • Plate, garnish with crumble feta and pumpkin seeds and serve.