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Yet another terrific day in the Northwoods! Boating, sunshine and fresh air — all things that do a body good! And on such a special day: Memorial Day!

sweet corn and kabocha squash!

Do you ever have one of those nights where you build an entire meal around one ingredient? Well, that happened tonight. I had one gorgeous avocado that was at the perfect ripeness…tomorrow, it would be a goner. It needed to be used tonight. Enter: the Mexican Fiesta Salad!

Mexican Fiesta Salad!

This salad is gluten free, vegan, and Body Ecology Diet friendly! And SO completely chuck full of flavor and textures! In fact, it can hardly be called a salad — it doesn’t do it justice! I mean come on — we’ve got kabocha squash, asparagus and guacamole going on here people!!

bright, light, and refreshing!! yum!

So here’s what you need for the salad of the century:

1 kabocha squash, cut in wedges and roasted
1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp paprika (to cook your squash)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 ears of corn, boiled and kernels sliced off
5 stalks of asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and steamed for 3 minutes
1/4 red onion, finely minced
4 green onions, sliced
1 clove of garlic, grated
3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 tsp EVOO

gluten free, vegan, and Body Ecology friendly!!

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Take your kabocha squash and cut it *carefully* into 2 inch wedges. Place each wedge cut-side-down on an olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet. Spray the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 25 minutes, flipping half way though. While you’re roasting your squash, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your corn. Allow it to return to a boil, covered for about 5 minutes, and then turn the heat off, but leave the lid on. Let it sit for 5 more minutes. Then, take the ears out, run them under cold water and dry. Then, carefully cut off the kernels. Place them in a big bowl. Prepare the rest of your veggies and also add them to the big bowl. Toss with the dressing, cilantro, and lots of salt and pepper.

When your squash comes out of the oven and cools for a bit, cut the flesh away from the rind. Dice it up into bite sized pieces. Then, add it to an olive-oil-sprayed frying pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your spices. Flip the squash after about 5 minutes on medium. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes more, and then take off the heat to cool. Once cooled, *gently* stir it in with the rest of the veggies. Scoop your Mexican Fiesta Salad onto a plate, top with guacamole and green onion tops, and enjoy!

Killer Guacamole:

2 avocados
3 Tbsp red onion, finely minced
squeeze of lime
1 garlic clove, grated
handful chopped cilantro

Mash avocado with salt and lime juice with a fork. Stir everything in. Refrigerate. Delish.

killer guacamole! nom nom nom!

With this outrageous salad, I served baked cod. Lobsta Bakes‘ cod is so wonderful. Not only is it succulently sweet and flakey, but it is wild, ocean-caught, antibiotic-free, and amazing! I baked it at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes in 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice. Yum!

asparagus takes it over the top!

This meal was incredible. Hands down. We’re talking…lick your plate, slap your knee delicious. The flavors, textures and colors made this salad a true Fiesta! First, the flavors just exploded in your mouth! Smokey and spicy cumin and chili powder combined wonderfully with the sweet peppers and corn, lemony asparagus, and fresh onions. The lime juice was refreshing and bright, complimented beautifully by the fresh cilantro and subtle garlic undertone.

what a plate!

Next, the textures! The textures are what made this salad so interesting! Every bite was different! The raw peppers were super crunchy, while the squash was soft and creamy. The corn *popped* in your mouth, while the asparagus offered a nice crispy bite. All this was perfectly accented by the rich, creamy, and luxurious guacamole! Yum!!!

such bright, gorgeous colors!

And finally, the colors!! The plate was so pretty!! A beautiful rainbow! Red peppers, orange squash, yellow corn, dark green asparagus and cilantro, bright green guacamole, and purple onions!! It looked like a mound of confetti!! Delicious, crunchy, refreshing, Mexican confetti!

Memorial Day is such an important day. Thank you to all the men and women who selflessly risk their lives so that we can enjoy Freedom. Thank you to the families who miss their loved ones every day — you’ve sacrificed a lot too. Know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

This recipe is featured on Simply Sugar & Gluten Free & Allergies and Celiac & Tessa the Domestic DivaWellness Weekends & Tastetastic Thursday! It will be featured on Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free: Seasonal Salads!