I made a salad for Thanksgiving… Sacrilege you say?! Well hold onto your drumstick because I’m about to tell you why the Butternut Squash and Quinoa Harvest Salad is totally worthy of a Turkey Day feast.
On Thanksgiving Day, my parents hosted both sides of the family for a full-blown, eat-‘til-you-drop, corn-casserole-mashed-potatoes-buckets-of-gravy dinner. And it was fantastic. My mother is an incredible cook and host and everyone left full and happy. But I’ll be honest when I say I was excited for Friday (and not for the sales!).
The day after Thanksgiving was my turn to host. My sweetie and I hosted his parents for a small dinner and I had a lot of fun planning the menu and readying the house all week.
Now, I want you to picture 4 adults with a glass of water, a glass of wine, a plate of food, and silverware all on a 4’x4’ card table… Sigh… The sad truth behind living in a tiny, old house. But we made it work!
On my menu was…
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (veganized)
- Sweet & Savory Sweet Potato Casserole (veganized w/ coconut bacon)
- Mushroom Gravy
- Vegan Stuffing
- Spiced Cranberry Sauce (recipe to come!)
- Roast & Rice (not vegan- made & brought by John’s mama)
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- THIS DELICIOUS SALAD!
So why a salad on Thanksgiving? I’m all for indulgence on special occasions, don’t get me wrong. But to be honest, I think a plate of all heavy food just isn’t balanced. Everyone needs balance. Yin & Yang. Salty & Sweet. Peanut butter & jelly. Balance is the spice of life, y’all! Speaking of balance, the dressing for this recipe comes from Lauren’s blog and it is TO. DIE. FOR. Perfect balance of sweet, tangy, salty… Yum!
Whether you’re planning dinner for a crowd or want to get back on track after the holidays, this salad is the way to go! It’s chock-full of fall flavors, balanced and light, and has great crunch!
A decadent holiday side that doubles as a healthy post-holiday dinner! Butternut Squash and Quinoa Harvest Salad can do it all!
- 4-6 cups baby arugula (or spinach)
- 1 cup cooked rainbow quinoa
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed, about 4 cups
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, roasted
- 2 Tbs. coconut sugar, or brown sugar
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper
- Juice of one orange, about ¼ cup
- 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbs. orange zest
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 400F and toss butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil, sugar, paprika, and salt & pepper. Roast for 40-50 minutes, tossing once or twice, until caramelized and soft. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, add all dressing ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously to combine.
- Add salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss lightly to combine. Drizzle half of the dressing over the bowl and toss. You may or may not need the rest of the dressing, depending on how you like your salad. I used about ¾ of the batch. Enjoy!