Butternut Squash Salad with Watermelon and Walnuts

Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut Squash Salad

Juicy watermelon with roasted butternut squash is an interesting and new way to treat yourself during those autumn nights. This light and refreshing salad paired with a red wine vinaigrette is a delicious combination of sweet and savory! If you are looking for some extra protein, hemp seeds are a great touch with also add extra texture to any dish. This dish was inspired by a recent outing to one of my favorite restaurants. I am sure glad that I was able to make my own version of this delicious fall-inspired salad.

Butternut Squash Salad

Yields 2 salads

Ingredients

1/4 watermelon, diced into medium cubes

1 butternut squash, cut in half and de-seeded

5 oz. arugula

1 cup walnuts, rough chop

Dressing:

1/2 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. balsamic reduction

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Pink Himalayan Fine Salt

1/4 tsp. Spicely Organics ground black pepper

1 tsp. lemon juice, (optional)

Butternut Squash Salad

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel butternut squash and slice in half length-wise. Remove seeds and rinse- you can dry them and store in the freezer or you can roast them.
  3. Take your prepared squash and dice it in to long pieces.
  4. Place onto a lightly oiled pan and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes, flipping half way through.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool.
  7. While squash is cooling, in a small measuring glass, mix together all dressing ingredients and stir until well mixed, set aside.
  8. For your salad, put arugula into a large bowl. Add watermelon, walnuts, butternut squash, and hemp seeds (save some to top salad with). Pour dressing over and mix to fully coat.

Chef’s tips: You can brush the squash with vegan butter and brown sugar if you would like to caramelize your squash a bit and add a different flavor to the salad.

Tahini Dressing

Tahini Dressing

Salad

Need a dressing that is light, fresh and fragrant minus all the extra calories? This tahini dressing packs a huge punch for only needing a little bit on your salad, sandwich, or whatever you chose. Just simply blend everything up in a blender and watch how it transforms into a creamy and flavorful dressing.

Salad

Yields 4 oz

Ingredients

1/2 cup of Vitacost Certified Organic Unsalted Sesame Tahini, well stirred

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 large garlic clove

2 Tbsp. Flat Leaf Parsley, freshly chopped

1/4 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp Spicely Organics Black Peppercorns- Tin

Salad

Directions

In a blender, combine all ingredients above and pulse until mixture is smooth and well combined. Place into airtight container and allow dressing to set for 30 minutes, or until chilled.

Salad

Chef’s tip: I recently discovered adding 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard to the dressing adds a great flavor that is much different than the normal tahini (Thanks Elyssa and Jeff)

Raw Creamy Cucumber Dressing

Let’s be honest- we all know it can be difficult sometimes to get our vegetables in. A few vegetables at diner each evening for our entire life just isn’t enough some times. The beneficial thing about plant-based foods is majority of the time you can use vegetables in their raw nature to produce an amazing product. In this case, a dressing filled with great nourishing vitamins and hydrating properties that will leave your appetite quenched. With this easy recipe, you can take locally bought produce and make an oil free dressing. Bringing to you and your family an explosion in your mouth of fresh cucumber with a hint of lemon and a slight creamy texture from the avocado. 

Yields 4 cups 

Ingredients 

1 medium cucumber

1 large lemon, squeezed

I large avocado 

3 stalks celery

1 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt- Fine 

1 tsp Spicely Organics Black Peppercorns Tin 

2 cloves garlic 

 

 Directions

  1. In blender, combine all ingredients until mixture is thick and creamy. Pour into desired container and allow to chill for 1 hour minimum.
  2. Dressing will last refrigerated for 7 days in an air-tight mason jar or bottle.

 

Chef’s tip: For added freshness, add 1 Tbsp. fresh dill.