My father occasionally refers to my adoration of all things good and wholesome as if it were a drug seeking behavior.

“Do you have to be so obsessed?” he’ll hiss when I add a pound full of some green vegetable to what would otherwise be “a perfectly good pasta dish”.

It could be worse.  I tell him.  I could be snorting it.


This week at Eat.Live.Be. we’re talking about some of our biggest challenges in regards to leading a healthier life.  When I was first trying to lose weight and get healthier, about four years ago, a huge challenge for me was having to deal with the people around me – I was changing, but my environment wasn’t.  My parents still insisted on dousing everything with oil, eating dessert with every meal, and making the most monochromatic dishes known to man.  And it wasn’t just them.  It was everyone.

And I think we can all attest that while it’s easy to eat healthy when you are preparing each and every meal for yourself, all hell can break loose as soon as you’re let out into the real world.

Temptation lurks around every corner.

People ask if you’re sure that you don’t want seconds.

And they put tortilla chips on the table.  To snack on.  Sigh.

I know.  It’s rough.

But here’s my solution.  Be obtrusive.

If you’re going over to a relative or friend’s house and you know they have a certain proclivity for deep frying everything in sight and putting little bowls of M&M’s on every counter?  Insist on bringing a dish that you know you can feel good about eating.  This way you’ll have an option.  Sure, have one of those crab cakes that is literally sitting in a pool of oil.  But then also reach for a helping of whatever it is that you brought.  You’ll feel better the next day. I promise.

If you’re going out to eat and the restaurant pairs everything, including pasta, with a side of fries? (Well, first of all, why are you going to this restaurant again?)  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  I don’t eat fries, so I’m constantly cajoling waiters into giving me a side salad instead.  I know you’re going to feel incredibly obnoxious doing this, at least the first few times.  But eventually you get used to it.  Or you realize they don’t really care as much as you think they do.  Who knows.

So now, I want to know – what is your biggest challenge and how are you approaching it?  Write about it in a post or leave a comment letting me know!  Next week we’ll be writing about our favorite healthy change and how it’s helping us to better our lives.

And check out the posts from the other Eat.Live.Be. bloggers:


So in contrast to my last post in which I tried to convince you that I bring nothing but temptation, doom and destruction (in the form of pies with flaky buttery heavenly delicious crusts) when I am invited to other people’s houses.  I will have you know that I do actually practice what I preach.

When my mom called me to alert me to the fact that we were going to my aunt’s house, I had a vision.  A vision of every single artery clogging food that was going to be served to me.  A vision of every glass of champagne that my mother was going to have as she got increasingly belligerently drunk.  (Not that that really has anything to do with anything.  I just thought I’d share with you. My mother gets irrationally belligerent when she’s drunk.  So it goes.)

And then, after my vision. I had a dream.  A dream that I would put an end to the intense anxiety that I felt at having to eat all of that terrible horrible no good very bad food.  And how would I do it?  By bringing this salad.

I first encountered this salad on 101 Cookbooks but then doctored it up to suit my needs. I added white beans, because they are beautiful.  I added ginger because the dressing tasted a little…well…boring without it.  And I doubled it so that I could at least pretend that I was bringing it to share with other people.

Sometimes, I can be selfish in such an altruistic kind of way.

And in the end, everyone actually did eat it.  And like it.  Except for my father who said that it was good, although it had some kind of spice that he didn’t like.  By which he means that it had spice and so he didn’t like it.  But I commend him for trying even though it was way outside his comfort zone.

See what I mean? Altruism.  I’m expanding horizons, one pumpkin salad at a time.


Roasted Pumpkin, Wild Rice and White Bean Salad with a Ginger Sunflower Dressing
Serves 12, adapted from 101 Cookbooks 

1 cup white beans, cannellini beans, or flageolets, rinsed and soaked overnight

1 large butternut squash, about 6 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
cooking spray
fine grain sea salt

3 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cups wild rice

2/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Spray the pumpkin/squash with cooking spray and toss with some fine grain sea salt.  Place onto a baking sheet.  Repeat with the red onion quarters.  Roast both for about 45 minutes or until brown and caramelized.

2. In the meantime, cook the beans and the wild rice (separately) according to package instructions.

3. To make the dressing, combine the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, salt, and honey in a food processor or blender.  Puree until creamy.  Add a few tbsp of warm water if it’s super thick, although mine wasn’t.  Stir in the cilantro.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

4. In a large bowl, toss the wild rice and beans with a dollop of dressing.  Mix in the onions and the squash, gently tossing with your hands.  Top with remaining dressing.

I am submitting this to Souper Sundays, hosted at Kahakai Kitchen, Meatless Mondays hosted at My Sweet and Savory, and the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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120 Responses to Roasted Pumpkin, Wild Rice and White Bean Salad with a Ginger Sunflower Seed Dressing…Eat.Live.Be. for a Better 2011!

  1. I am with you on bringing dishes that work for you and asking for alternatives at restaurants. I think the worst is all the birthday cakes at work and people ALWAYS asking me why I am not eating a piece. I should start telling them I am allergic to birthday cakes.

  2. You show that just because something is healthy it doesn’t have to lack flavor. Holy moly this looks delicious! I could probably just eat this as an entree, it looks very filling.

    Glad to see pumpkin is making an appearance again after the holidays. I’ve missed it. 🙂

  3. Marisa says:

    What, you mean I *shouldn’t* be eating dessert every day? 😉

    Such a unique looking salad – love the added seeds and the ginger kick.

    PS: Kudos to your dad for at least trying it! Maybe you can still win that battle…

  4. Julie says:

    Beautiful salad!! I love all of the flavors.

  5. jesus, another winning recipe. i love the abundance of colors and flavors, regardless of what your dad says 😛

    isn’t sad that so many people in our lives are inclined to the UNhealthy? why must we be the awkward relative who is a “healthy eater” when really we just understand moderation better than most? i’m gonna be that girl at a restaurant who insists on swapping the fries for a salad, and I will order dessert after that. so there.

  6. oh, and my biggest challenge? packing a healthy, non-sandwich lunch. i am sick of the sandwich rut and have instead been wasting money eating out. i need to get back onto the pre-prepared veggie, carb & protein bandwagon and pack my own stuff!

  7. I love how delicious eating healthy and right gets here!
    This salad will make me happy and feel good too!

  8. Ginger is a great flavor to add to salad dressings! I have a similar problem when I go to others’ houses to eat, but with a twist… in the south, a lot of people use church cookbooks that are rife with canned goods, cake mixes, and bisquick, and involve some sort of deep frying… OR I hang out with a bunch of dietitians who add splenda to everything and use applesauce in place of the oil. AHHHH!!!! So I just always brings something from scratch, and it’s usually rich, but I can feel good about eating it. Plus, as the Food Hound, this is now expected of me 🙂

  9. Rachel says:

    What a beautiful bowl of good food! This looks like a great one-bowl-dinner (I love any meal that I can eat out of a big bowl).
    Your tip about bringing a dish you know you will enjoy when you visit someone for a meal is a good one. I always did that at potlucks with my grad school friends because I knew all they would bring was desserts and cheese-smothered things.

  10. what a wonderful salad

  11. MM says:

    This salad is definitely not monochromatic!

  12. Very colorful dish, appealing to the eyes. And lots of different flavors and textures.

    Its a challenge when visiting relatives/friends, they always want to overfeed you with ‘good’ food. I suppose once in a while its OK.

  13. Love the idea of bringing a dish you can eat from and feel good about to other people’s houses! It definitely gets overwhelming when ALL there is are extremely fatty foods and desserts (it’s okay so have some, but you still want to feel good about yourself at the end of the day).
    That salad looks absolutely delicious!

  14. Biggest challenge… Cost of eating well.

    Seriously, take a look at the sale flyers at grocery stores. Doritos and frozen pizzas are ALWAYS on sale. But the cost of raw vegetables are increasing at an alarming rate. Bell peppers are my personal cause, but tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, onions… You name it, all have seen a price increase this year, and are rarely put on sale. Just a simple tray of cut raw vegetables and dip will run $10… Bag of Doritos, on sale for $2.

    With unemployment over 9% (and consider underemployed that have taken jobs at or near poverty level), families have to make tough decisions at the grocery store. If you want to give your family a snack, tough choices have to be made. Often empty calories are the most cost efficient (short term).

    And yet, Iowa farmers (home of the 1st Presidential contest… not a coincidence) are subsidized to grow corn for high fructose corn syrup (take a look at nearly any processed food ingredient list and you will see HFCS). But government policies are making it harder and harder to grow beans. Not only does Gov’t subsidies and regulations not encourage raw vegetable consumption, they actively encourage processed foods.

    But, what do I know. I’m just a crotchety old man… And get off my lawn ya durn kids ya.

  15. Kim says:

    It sounds like you and I fight the same battles with our family at times. I’m always getting asked for “normal” food, it drives me crazy. Why would you want “normal” food when you can have so much more? This salad looks beautiful and I’m loving the sound of that dressing!

  16. I freaking LOVE this! All those flavors and textures! I do that too…bring a healthy dish when I know the options will be slim! 🙂 wonderful!

  17. brandi says:

    That’s the ONE thing I hate about eating out.

    Most places now charge you even MORE to get a puny side salad instead of french fries. THAT is frustrating.

  18. This salad looks great!! Love the flavors and ginger is always a great flavor booster. My doctor told me last week I am “getting to that age” BASTARD!! That means I can’t just think I’ll drop a pound and then poof, it’s gone. Now I have to actually watch what I eat. I do not (Thank God) have a sweet tooth but unfortunately I do have cravings for carbs. Including, but not limited to breads, pasta, and just about ANY cream sauce. I am trying to re-work some of my recipes into healthy ones. I am at 146 uhg, and that’s 20 more than I have ever weighed, wish me luck..I start my new yoga class tomorrow. Keep the salads comming, that’s what I’ll be living on! Much love, Leslie

  19. I have had a difficult time even eating out lately. I just really don’t enjoy it anymore considering I know I can create a much healthier and better tasting meal at home. Not only that but the kids menu is a freaking joke! My girls always get an adult entree and split it. Just because they are kids doesn’t mean they eat crap! Chicken nuggets, pizza and disgusting hot dogs that I wouldn’t feed to a dog! The one thing I miss about NY is the convenience of finding a healthier restaurant.

  20. Claudie says:

    This salad looks amazing! A truly original idea.

    I understand what you mean about your environment not changing while you change… it is indeed very hard. When I started strength training years ago, I changed the way I ate too, so I could become leaner and stronger — but of course, suddenly that I was eating much healthier food, people around me started paying much more attention. “Are you sure you don’t want that? But why are you counting carbs and calories, you don’t need to?” etc, etc… It was truly annoying, especially when I’d explain the actual science behind what I was doing (with all the bio and chem processes), but people would rely on what they had heard many years ago and wouldn’t change their minds. For them, there was something wrong with the way I was eating — something wrong with wanting to actually eat healthy and good for my body food. It’s just incredible how people can turn all white into black and vice versa.

  21. Tasha says:

    What a truly delightful sounding salad. I love the unique combination of ingredients. Not sure why I never think to use wild rice in salads!

  22. Laura says:

    Looks absolutely delicious! I love anything sweet or savory with pumpkin and the ginger sunflower dressing for this rice salad sounds delicious! I also love the notion of Eat.Live.Be. There are so many unhealthy choices out there and far too many people don’t think enough about what they put into their bodies. This is a great healthy recipe and I can’t wait to try it!

  23. Amy says:

    “…eating dessert with every meal” – you say that like it’s a bad thing. 😀

    Hats off to your Dad for at least trying this salad. My Dad would not only resist that, he would make a joke. Or 3.

  24. Lyndsey says:

    This look beautiful and delicious! I was lucky because my family is not large eaters and it does bother me when people ask if my daughter is eating enough (she’s very tall and thin). Yes she is healthy and fine because she eats healthy and doesn’t eat junk and never has. I did however find out (recently) that, my father really doesn’t like many veggies.

    This one is a must try, good luck on keep eating healthy!

  25. I like your determination on how to convince people to eat healthy food. It’s really not an easy job especially our family members. Keep it up! Your salad looks so colourful and delicious! I don’t mind to have it for lunch or dinner. 😉

  26. Pia says:

    this salad is really very healthy and must be delicious too.

    A new event,Innovative Salads, has started in the, I will really happy if you will participate in it

    Innovative Salads

  27. Dawn says:

    I love the suggestion to bring your own dish. I do that all the time! And this salad looks so wonderful. Mmmm…
    Hey…how do I know if my ELB posts are linking up? I did the magical widget thing but am not sure where to look if it’s linking!

  28. polwig says:

    Absolutely beautiful salad. I guess we all have our drugs, it is better then it is food then anything else, like massive amounts of Champaigne. Even though that would not be bad once in a while.

  29. Eden says:

    Wow, this salad just screams, “I came out of a whole foods!” but thats a good thing because everything about it sounds healthy 😉 How can you not like fries??? if I got a salad instead of fries, I think I’d cry a little.

  30. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne…I love every single ingredient separately..combine them into the same dish and Vuala!.instant delicious! I hope that you had a nice visit. I am sure that your healthy choices will make an impression…even if it is not admitted out loud..Blessings, Catherine

  31. Ada says:

    Haha I loved this line: “See what I mean? Altruism. I’m expanding horizons, one pumpkin salad at a time.”

    Butternut squash is SUCH a great ingredient to use in salads. It transforms otherwise boring greens into something more exciting. My mother was certainly skeptical about placing squash in salad, but once she tried it she was instantly converted. Thanks for another great recipe!

  32. The salad sounds simply delicious. I often bring healthy options to parties, and this is certainly a great one!

  33. Delicious! Roasting = creating a small piece of heaven.
    I should start bringing uber healthy sides, because yesterday at the football party we went to there was much consumption of wings, cake, beer, and chips. I don’t think I’ve eaten so poorly since . . . since . . . right.

  34. Marcia says:

    Oh temptations. A topic near and dear to my heart of late, as I try to lose the 5 lbs I gained last year, before my vacation to Hawaii.

    Lunch out with friends at a Mexican restaurant. Push the chips to the other end of the table, go to the bathroom and come back to find ANOTHER basket. Push them away too. Order the dressing on the side of my salad, and no cheese or tortilla strips. (Romaine, avocado, chicken, pico de gallo, pumpkin seeds was left).

    And the kids’ parties have started. Oh, the chips. The cookies. The cupcakes. Yesterday’s party, I ate a sandwich, oranges, and carrots. Stayed away from the chips and the cookies and the cupcakes. These days I try to eat before I go somewhere too, if I’m really worried.

    it pays off though. Despite eating a bit too much at my friend’s house last night, I did lose 2 lbs this week. So…only 3 more to go. Week 2 is the hardest though. See if I can stick to it.

  35. Delishhh says:

    Oh wow – what a fabulous salad. Love pumpkin and if you mix this with rice, beans and more. . wow, fabulous combinationn

  36. Katerina says:

    I can always use a bowl of good looking and tasty salad. I am always on diet so I need as many salad recipes as possible. This one fulfills all my requirements.

  37. Mary says:

    Your salad looks delicious. My biggest challenge is getting the distaff side of the family to accept meatless meals. As you are discovering, preaching does no good. You simply have to keep on trying. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  38. I love such colorful salads.I believe that eating well can be smtimes heavy on the pocket too.Its sad & true that good quality,healthy or organic foods can be costly.I bought a small organic cauliflower yest for $7.And then there are social pressures too.Like when I go out with friends, I smtimes end up irritating them with the handful menu choices I have..I m gonna vent it out in my post smday. Love your pictures Joanne-neat & sharp!

  39. That Girl says:

    I find that often when I bring something “lighter” and “healthier” to a party it is quickly devoured people want to eat well, they just don’t want to make it themselves.

  40. This salad seriously puts all other salads to shame.

  41. I think eating healthy is hard for anyone … with so many people who don’t eat well, and feel guilty about it (heck, when I eat like crap, I feel guilty when I see blogs full of green smoothies!), the comments and glares are always bound to happen!

    Right now, my biggest nemisis is sugar, so I’m taking my own sugar-free challenge for ten days. I’m on day 6, and still craving it, but it’s getting better, and at last I understand where my cravings are coming from!

  42. Sanem says:

    This looks really healthy and tasty. It’s a good alternative to the usual rice salad.

  43. sra says:

    I’ve made this salad from 101 Cookbooks. It’s really nice and my friend said her kid really loved it when she took some home. I’m having them over for dinner in a couple of days and I was planning to make this. This post coming when it does is a sign that I should. 🙂

  44. Shannon says:

    I too just started to bring a “waistline friendly” dish to parties/gatherings. The key is to bring something that looks divine and isn’t boring like a simple tossed salad (face it, many of us eat it for lunch every single day)… that way you don’t even feel like you’re missing out on the not-so-good-for-you stuff.

    P.S. I’m planning an early spring weekend visit to NYC to visit my best friend, maybe a meet-up?

  45. Swathi says:

    This salad sounds delicious and color ful. Being a veggie, salad i love it when it has awesome combo.

  46. Rebecca Jean says:

    This salad is beautiful! I hope you will also submit it to Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays.

    ? Rebecca Jean
    Midnight Maniac

  47. Joanna says:

    That looks incredible! I’ve been off pumpkin after I overdid it for the entire months of Nov. and Dec. but I may have to make this!

  48. Victoria says:

    Sigh, you are a far better person than I am… I’m never the person who wants the side salad. When my entree comes with a salad, I replace it with fries (as my waist gets bigger and bigger). This pumpkin salad though, that I could do 🙂

  49. Juliana says:

    Joanne, you have a very complete meal in this salad…so rich in all kind of colors and ingredients…not only healthy but tasty 🙂

  50. Sarah Caron says:

    I can totally relate. Although my parents try to eat low-fat, my mother is the great pusher of seconds and dessert. Last night at dinner, she was particularly put out that I refused to have a second serving of lasagna. But, I stood my ground. I don’t need to overeat just to please others, you know?

  51. Cara says:

    You may bring this to my house anytime. I’ll make sure to tell you ahead of time about all the junk food I plan to prepare, so that you will. Except, you know that won’t really happen. But it’s ok. We’ll have lots of healthy, gorgeous food to share!

    And I’m totally with you on being assertive and letting go of what others think when it comes to healthy eating. On that note, I found that in order to feel less judged, I had to give up a little judging myself, you know?

  52. janet says:

    Hey Joanne, What a beautiful salad… and what a monstrous butternut squash you had – 6 lbs???

    I agree that potlucks where I can make something I will eat is perfect. In fact, when I went home over Christmas, I made all the meals post-Christmas. And I was really happy with that… not that I didn’t want the pork loin stuffed with cheese.. well, it sounded tasty but no, I really didn’t want it. 😛

    Anyways, my heart cringes every time my friends want to get together at a restaurant. I just hate eating out – the taste is usually subpar unless it is uber expensive and gosh, darn it, the healthy options are usually not healthy either. 😛

  53. Hannah says:

    Awesome recipe, and especially intriguing dressing! I’ve been on the look out for a good creamy sort of dressing, and hadn’t thought to start with a base of sunflower seeds. Brilliant, I must play around with this idea!

  54. The combination of flavors here sounds awesome. Great tips for eating healthier in the new year. Too bad I have a “thing” for fries!!

  55. Simply Life says:

    Oh I would definitely want to be eating this at the dinner!

  56. daphne says:

    ahh.. sweet pumpkin with wild rice…what a lovely blend of flavours.

    Savoring the first bite is as good as eating the whole chocolate cake/bar/sinful food desire. It took me a long time to eat without guilt and when i do eat something nice and naughty, i say to just have a bite and eat it slowly.

  57. Shannon says:

    this looks amazing and sounds absolutely delicious. glad everyone enjoyed!

  58. Your healthy dishes just always sound so tasty. Who new healthy so be so delectable.

  59. Lea Ann says:

    Beautiful salad Joanne

  60. teresa says:

    i get stressed about dinner with family and friends too, i’m so afraid i’m either going to have to not eat, or eat food that’s going straight to my thighs!

    this looks amazing, such a beautiful blend of flavors, and beautiful to look at!

  61. Aren’t fathers hilarious? What a gorgeous dish of deliciousness: so flavourful and hardy and wholesome. Isn’t getting and being healthy a WONDERFUL thing?
    Bravo for you making it so easy!

  62. A wonderful healthy salad, love the white beans here and the dressing sounds excellent!

  63. It could always be worse. Parents just like to nag, don’t take it personally. This looks terrific.

  64. Pam says:

    I always ask for salad instead of fries (although I usually sneak a few from my kids). This salad looks colorful, delicious, and so flavorful.

  65. Julie says:

    amen to this post. its all about what you want and if other people don’t like it well thats better for you because that equals more leftovers! my family used to be like “whats a vegetable?” now we never go a meal with adding a big ass salad to it 🙂 if you build it they will come!

  66. FireMom says:

    Geez. That made my mouth water. Saving this to make sometime soon!

    I’m thankful that my husband is very supportive in my endeavors! (And that I don’t live near family! LOL)

  67. marla says:

    Oh would we get along well (as if we did not all ready know that!) The past few years I have really learned how to set my boundaries with food in public. If I do not eat certain things I stick to it no matter where I am. I know certain things are trigger foods, I completely avoid those no matter what.
    I too would bring something like this delish salad, even if i was the only one enjoying it 🙂 xo

  68. This salad looks so good- full of flavor and healthy ingredients! My biggest challenge is getting home at 6 or 7 in the evening and having the energy to make a healthy dinner. It’s so easy to grab something that’s not stellar nutrition. I try to cook on weekends and stock up the refrigerator!

  69. Natalie says:

    you’ve done it again girl!! think i could sub pepitas for the sunflower seeds??

  70. ann says:

    This looks so delicious and healthy- wonderful!

  71. aipi says:

    I prefer these types of salads over the leafy ones. Beautiful salad..always love your creativity!

    US Masala

  72. Hi Jo jo…gotta tell ya, this is the first time I have kind of felt yucky reading your post. I guess I am so used to you talking about your love of food and the joy and soul nurturing that food provides for you and not about the artery clogging bad bad bad food. I do know that sometimes it is tough to get healthy when surrounded by unhealthy energy and making the effort to love yourself enough to set boundaries and ask for what you really need is important. I don’t eat fries out either, but I will certainly make them at home in pastured lard and grassfed beef tallow as a treat! If you came to my house, you would eat them, and you would love them and they would be good for you! Hugs! I am linking up my yummy new creation, Tex Mex Quinoa Loco! Alex

  73. sophia says:

    Something tells me your dad won’t eat ANYTHING I make…;-)

  74. It is funny to see pumpkin back even with the holidays far behind us. You hit the nail right on the head by showing that healthy does not have to be boring. Throw the salad greens away! This is much more enticing.

  75. I am literally making this tomorrow. It looks so delicious and colourful and flavourful! Healthy = the best.

  76. tigerfish says:

    Am into the healthy nutritional route too! Your dish fits the theme perfectly.

  77. You can never go wrong with these ingredients, looks delicious!

  78. Sanjeeta kk says:

    What a healthy and colorful spread, Joanne! Love all the veggies you added and the dressing for this lovely nutritious salad.

  79. Temptation is everywhere, but we have to stay strong! Lovely meal, i could eat that every day!

    Camila F.

  80. “Sometimes, I can be selfish in such an altruistic kind of way.”

    LOVE that!

    xo Alison

  81. Barbara says:

    Fabulous salad, Joanne! And I can relate to everything you’ve said.
    I am challenging myself to lose 25 pounds. You’re right…it’s difficult. Going out to dinner is the hardest. Continuing the blog while dieting has turned out to be OK. I have a big stash of recipes to use and when I make something new or not particularly healthy, I give it away! I’m down 10 since Jan. 1. So things are going well.

  82. Seriously the most delicious sounding and looking salad EVER. I am considering sprouting a new blog since after shopping yesterday have decide maybe a baking blog ISN’T the way to smaller jeans! Ya think? You are inspiring me! Thanks Janet!

  83. Nicole, RD says:

    In Italy, they put fries on pizza. I’m trying to figure out, to this day, how that falls into the Mediterranean diet and why Americans are so obese when compared to Italians. It probably is because we serve a (heaping) side of fries with everything, pasta included (loved that). This salad looks absolutely wonderful, as does that pie I just caught a glimpse of below.. 🙂

  84. Ben says:

    I could be snoring it. Brilliant! I love this salad and that bowl is SO pretty. I’ll try to write something on my blog about my biggest challenge to a healthier life. I think it might be STREET FOOD, hehe, fatty, greasy delicious street food.

  85. Joanne says:

    That looks like an incredible dish. So colorful, healthy, and appealling. Very good.

    My greatest food challenge: Trying to adjust my eating so I get enough nutritional fuel to get me through longer runs.

  86. Megan says:

    I think asking for an alternative has become second nature to me, I don’t even feel guilty about it anymore. My husband and I always split a meal when going out too to avoid the huge portions they always seem to give us. My family grew up as health nuts…so I think I am the culprit for bringing the temptation treats…hehe.

  87. Miriam says:

    You’ve really outdone yourself with this salad, I can’t wait to make it! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  88. Reeni says:

    I love salads like this that are healthy, delicious and chock full of flavor! My biggest obstacle is the way my family eats – similar to yours with not much regard for vegetables or healthy grains – I have to make sure I have my “own” food on hand to eat. At all times.

  89. Peggy says:

    I definitely love the idea of subbing the fried for a salad. I don’t feel bad about asking, because really… the restaurant is there to cater to my needs, right? See, I’m selfish too. =)

  90. Dana says:

    For some reason, I always forget about wild rice. I really like it and even have some in my pantry, I just don’t reach for it as much as I should. I feel lucky that my family eats, and has always eaten, relatively healthy. I don’t fear fried food at family functions. My husband’s family is another story. We are heading to the Delaware shore this summer and I think I will end up cooking dinner every night just to insure that I will get something good to eat.

  91. Claudia says:

    Life is not all about pie, is it? If you know the food is going to be heavy, it’s wonderful to bring that lighter balance into the equation.

  92. Dimah says:

    It sounds so delicious and healthy! What lovely colors and flavors!

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  94. Maria says:

    Colorful, flavorful, filling … sounds like the perfect salad to me.

  95. girlichef says:

    I love the combo of the wild rice and white beans with the punkin…so satisfying! Sounds awesome and very healthy 😉 thanks so much for sharing it w/ the hearth and soul hop this week, chica 😀

  96. Love the look of this salad – pumpkin, white beans and ginger is such an awesome combo 🙂

  97. Faith says:

    I love your comment to your dad that you could be snorting it! Lol! You’re absolutely right, veggie obsession is definitely not a bad addiction to have. Love the looks of this salad…the dressing sounds incredible!

  98. Aurelia says:

    That looks so good it actually made me hungry! I know what ingredients will be on my shopping list tomorrow now lol!

    Thank you for sharing the recipe 🙂

    I’m also taking part in the Hearth & Soul hop and that’s how I found your blog.

  99. Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely amazing!

  100. sweetlife says:

    a perfect salad, glad your dad attempted dad would have given me “the look” lol
    I also love that you doctored up the dressing from 101 cookbook, great addition with the beans!


  101. Chris says:

    Wow….This makes my nacho post look embarrassingly over indulgent and fattening.

    I’m going to go run 2 midnight miles just to dump the guilt!

    (nevermind….it’s freezing and raining. I’ll deal with the guilt.)

  102. theUngourmet says:

    What a fantastic combination of goodness. This looks a heck of a lot healthier than the cookies I baked up tonight. 🙂

  103. This salad looks sensational! Love the dressing.

  104. grace says:

    yep, i always bring along something i know i’ll like, just in case the host is a deep-frying fiend or worse, a buy-everything-at-the-store type.
    nice dish!

  105. Your advise about bringing nice & healthy food to fried-food-addicts is brilliant! I am seriously going to put it into practise for the next time will be invited to …&… 🙂 And I want to try your salad! Ginger dressing sounds wonderful and the colours combination is so pretty!

  106. Wow, so colourful and beautiful! I’ve been adding beans to a lot of things lately too. They are so versatile.

  107. Vitamins, protein, seeds (I think that’s what wild rice is?), beautiful color, and tantalizing taste, this recipe’s got everything going for it doesn’t it? Love it, Joanne!

  108. This is by far one of the most beautiful (and DELICIOUS looking) dishes I have seen in a while. I mean, first, pumpkin- who doesn’t love pumpkin (cause I’m obsessed). Second, ginger sunflower dressing just sounds amazing. Third, well, you made it. And I’ll be eating it after I make it. And screw those people who don’t like GOOD healthy food cause I could eat the entire dish. 🙂
    Yes, I’m selfish too.

    My biggest challenge right now (at least RIGHT now) is trying to gain muscle without any added body fat. This sounds simple enough but if you’re not eating enough calories- and balancing carbs, protein, and fat- those muscle won’t get bigger. Thus, I’m trial-and-error-ing the S**t out of my daily meals. 🙂 Fun stuff.

  109. A gorgeous bowl of healthy goodness 🙂

  110. Johanna GGG says:

    I often like to take along a salad with protein because as a vegetarian you can be offered lots of food without protein – actually one of my biggest challenges is having decent salad – very few cafes make salads that I like – they are either boring bowls of leaves or just too stodgy or meaty – but I would be happy for you to bring me a salad – please

  111. Cathy says:

    Yummy! I love salads with tons of ingredients! Looks creamy and crunchy too! I adore cooking with butternut squash – it’s so subtle and gorgeous!

  112. You can just feel the healthy vibes coming out of that bowl of salad. 😉 Thanks for sharing it at Souper Sundays this week.

  113. I want to make this SO BAD but I am SO LAZY.

  114. Kerstin says:

    Now that’s my kind of salad – healthy but completely satisfying and super tasty!

  115. Christy says:

    Joanne – that is the secret – always bring something you like and can eat – I always do that not only for me but for my kids – if I dont bring devilled eggs there is mutiny at the holidays! I love your salad and so want to try the dressing – it sounds sweet enough for me – I love sweet dressings! Thanks for linking this to the Hearth and Soul Hop!!

  116. Eliana says:

    Healthy has never looked so good! Rock on girl!!!

  117. Deborah says:

    I think that is the biggest downfall for most people trying to lose weight – the outside forces! This salad looks amazing, though – I’d choose it over fries!!

  118. Ooo your version of this dish looks much more beautiful and delicious than mine!! 🙂 I totally hear you on people being a challenge to eat healthy. I’ve convinced my mom to stop putting butter on everything though!

  119. […] Three years ago…Cranberry Blueberry Pie, Roasted Pumpkin, Wild Rice and White Bean Salad […]

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