Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Healthy Autumn Salad

Hi guys! I'm so glad to be back - my nose is no longer stuffy; I can breathe and taste again!!! I started feeling better just in time for our Canadian Thanksgiving holiday {and for that I am thankful!}. This past weekend was full of family, food and fun.

I am still stuffed from two back-to-back days of Thanksgiving dinners  ~ can you say 'hello stretchy pants'???

Heavy meals, holiday parties and lots of comfort food can be pretty dangerous this time of year! I find that the Fall results in a lot more temptation and I tend to crave carb-heavy meals and can easily go a little light on my fruits and veggies.

After a weekend like this past one, it's critical for me to get right back on track with my eats. I created this salad on the weekend and while it's light and healthy, it includes some roasted butternut squash, which totally satisfies my love of comforting Fall fare.

Healthy Autumn Salad
Serves 4 - 6 as an appetizer salad

For the salad:
2.5 - 3 c chopped butternut squash*
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
6 c mixed greens
1large apple, chopped
1/2 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 c dried cherries
1/4 c dry roasted unsalted pepitas
2 - 3 oz crumbled goat cheese

*Slice the neck of your butternut squash into 1/2" thick rounds and then cut each round into quarters.

For the dressing:
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 - 3 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Place all of the dressing ingredients into your blender or Magic Bullet and blend well. Refrigerate.

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place your chopped squash into a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and sea salt. Spread the chopped squash onto your cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes, making sure to flip about halfway through the roasting time.

Once roasted, remove the squash from the oven and set aside to cool.

To assemble your salad, place your mixed greens into your salad bowl. Add the squash, apple and pepper and toss. Top the salad with the cherries, pepitas and crumbled goat cheese.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I served the dressing in a cute little pitcher on the side, so that each person can drizzle the dressing on themselves.

A good peeler is a huge help when dealing a squash.

I have a Tupperware peeler and it is the absolute best!

I like the look of the uniform wedges, but you can just chunk it up if you prefer.

Store your leftover dressing in a mason jar in the refrigerator.

A gorgeous colourful salad to be proud to serve to guests.

Or as a delicious dinner at home after a weekend packed full of FOOD!

The sweet-savoury flavour combo of each bite will rock your socks off!!!

What is your favourite healthy meal to make after a weekend full of indulgences??

Have a great day y'all!


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