A Forkful of Fall: Fall Harvest Salad

Wait, somehow it’s almost November?! Despite some of the uncharacteristically warm days we’ve experienced this season, it’s safe to say I’m definitely still in fall mode. So, I wanted to create a salad that captures the beautiful colors of fall and is rich in nutrients. Mission accomplished.

I present to you my Fall Harvest Salad—a colorful salad full of ingredients that are insanely good for you. The base of the salad is made of baby kale and spinach, which is a powerful combination of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and much more. Butternut squash is definitely in season now and provides an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as B vitamins, potassium, and manganese. Pomegranates are known for providing us with powerful antioxidants and are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. If you previously read my trail mix post, you may recall how amazing pumpkin seeds are for us. These tiny seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin B complex, magnesium, potassium, iron, and more. You’ll find all of these nutrients in this vibrantly colored, powerhouse salad! Here’s the recipe:

Fall Harvest Salad: 

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups salad greens (I used a mix of baby kale and spinach)
  • 1 cup raw butternut squash (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils (technical name for the seed pods inside of a pomegranatewho knew?)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (If you like, you can use goat cheese instead—I thought about using it, but the thing about goat cheese is that it’s an acquired taste and apparently I haven’t acquired it yet.)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon 

*Full disclosure: removing the pomegranate arils from the fruit can get messy when they burst and the juice squirts everywhere. Basically, I may have looked like I had chicken pox after I was done mangling the pomegranate. Just be prepared for a little juice action, but don’t let this discourage you from enjoying this incredible fruit!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Drizzle cubed butternut squash with olive oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and salt, and toss gently to evenly coat.
  3. Spread butternut squash onto a baking sheet, and bake at 400° F for 20-25 minutes. Flip the cubed squash over about halfway through the cooking process, so it cooks evenly.
  4. Let the butternut squash cool slightly, and combine it with all of the remaining salad ingredients in a bowl.
  5. Optional: Add a lean meat to your salad, if you like. (I topped my salad with rotisserie chicken from a local farmer’s market).

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Apple Cider Vinaigrette Dressing:

*Dressing recipe inspired by food.com

Serving size: 2 tbsp; recipe yields ~1 cup (8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 ½ tbsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and whisk ingredients together thoroughly.
  2. Drizzle on top of salad.

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Enjoy!

~Lauren~

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