Hearty Butternut Squash Spinach Salad

This might be my new favorite dish.

I have been in a food-rut lately. Between school and work and life, I haven’t had a whole lot of time or energy to make anything fun and delicious. But I found this. And then I fell in love.

I’ve decided to make this for Thanksgiving dinner, and I think I’ll add some pomegranate seeds because pomegranate seeds make everything better. They are like a mini party in your mouth. Kind of like healthy Pop Rocks or something. I mean, those babies straight up explode. Love it.

Go. Go make this. Also, I recommend keeping the butternut squash warm on top of the cold salad. I am all about the temperature differences. I have been eating some serious veggie burgers, hot on top of a cold salad. It’s a great you-have-ten-minutes-before-you-need-to-leave-for-work-and-won’t-get-back-til-10pm food. That was TMI. I apologize.

THE POINT is that this is an easy, delicious dish, especially if you but the butternut squash pre-chopped and cooked. If you don’t, then there ain’t nothin’ easy about this dish. That was my first experience peeling and chopping a butternut squash. Honestly? I don’t recommend it.

Hearty Butternut Squash Spinach Salad
Adapted Slightly from Eating Bird Food

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c quinoa, cooked
1/2 c spinach
1/2 c butternut squash, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 pear, chopped
2 tbsp pepitas
1/8 c dried cranberries
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Pinch of cinnamon

1. Set oven to 400°F and drizzle olive oil over butternut squash on baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes, flipping a couple times for even roasting.
2. Combine the spinach, quinoa, apple, pear, pepitas, and dried cranberries in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, syrup, nutritional yeast and cinnamon.
4. Add butternut squash to salad and drizzle with dressing.


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