In the summer I like to enjoy salads with raw cooling ingredients while fresh summer produce is abundant at farmer’s markets. As fall comes along and through the winter, I like to add cooked warming ingredients to my salad like roasted butternut squash, roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice and crispy chickpeas. This is why I created Sweet Fall Salad.
Seasonal Sweet Fall Salad [Vegan]
- 3 cups raw butternut squash, peeled and diced in 1cm cubes
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup green lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup walnuts
- 10 dates, chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 fall apples, diced
- 8 oz baby spinach, washed
Sweet Balsamic Dressing
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Toss butternut squash in 2 Tbsp coconut oil, cayenne pepper and cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes, flipping occasionally.
- While the butternut squash is roasting, heat 2 Tbsp of coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned.
- Meanwhile, place the rinsed lentils in 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. simmer for 15-20 minutes until al dente.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.
- When the butternut squash, caramelized onions and lentils are done, toss them with the walnuts, dates, dried cranberries, apples and dressing and serve over spinach. You can serve Sweet Fall Salad warm or chilled.