Tag Archives: Salad

Give Thanks for Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad

Greetings! I hope that you had a joy-filled Thanksgiving holiday. Mine was great seeing family and friends and sharing delicious meals over the long weekend. I am thankful for many things, including today’s quiet day to reflect on all the nice events that took place during the week. One of the many things I feel appreciative about is the fact that all of the side dishes I prepared for the Thanksgiving meal were delicious. And I am thankful that SensitiveHusband is such an excellent vegetable chopper! Here’s why…

About two weeks ago, MIL and I were talking about the Thanksgiving menu. MIL and FIL planned to host the holiday meal at their house and cook the turkey and mashed potatoes, among other things. Others coming would prepare additional side dishes. Would I want to try a new recipe that MIL found in her most recent magazine? The recipe was for Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad. As luck would have it, I had just been to the grocery store and had purchased both acorn squash and golden beets, which are the headline ingredients in this recipe. Sure, I would try a new recipe! I just needed to remove the mustard from the ingredient list and adjust the quantity of a few things to suit my taste, and the rest seemed straight-forward.

Now that I have prepared this recipe once, I definitely recommend adding an important preparation technique: a buddy who can chop, peel and seed the acorn squash as you look on in an encouraging way. SensitiveHusband agreed to do this part for me – it took about one hour of focused attention and a really sharp knife to prepare the two acorn squash. I tried to keep SensitiveHusband’s spirits up by cheering him on, but in his effort to only chop the squash and not his fingers, my happy words did not receive much of a response. However, the resulting acorn slices really were works of art! Thanks again, SensitiveHusband!

If you would rather not use a buddy system in preparing this recipe, I suggest purchasing butternut squash that is already peeled, seeded and cubed instead of the acorn squash.

However you decide to prepare this recipe, know that it will be delicious and look beautiful alongside your other side dishes. Thanks!

Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad (inspired by Better Homes and Gardens, November 2012 recipe) Ingredients:
1 lb. small yellow and/or red beets
1 acorn squash (1 1/4 lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups baby romaine or leaf lettuces
1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tightly wrap beets, separated by color, in aluminum foil bundles. Roast 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside.
2. Place squash slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup maple syrup over squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool.
3. To make dressing, in a small bowl whisk the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. maple syrup together. Add the 1/3 cup olive oil and whisk till smooth.
4. To assemble, place lettuces in middle of a large plate. Pour half of dressing over salad and toss. Arrange beets and squash on lettuce. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.


Surf and Turf Salad

Last week sensitivehusband and I went out to dinner with some good friends. There was a filet mignon special on the menu and I just had to indulge. The steak was served with asparagus and lobster mashed potatoes. That’s right – there were actual pieces of lobster in my potatoes! As I enjoyed my meal, I thought about some words of wisdom that my mom used to say – when at a restaurant and you start to get full, focus on eating the most expensive thing on your plate so you get your money’s worth. What a great dilemma to have – should I finish the steak or lobster? Well, I decided to keep eating both and ended up taking home some of my meal.

The next day a great idea struck me – why not transform my leftovers into an enjoyable lunch? I started by making a big salad with green leaf lettuce, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and the leftover asparagus. I then sliced the filet mignon into strips and separated the lobster from the mashed potatoes. I heated the filet and lobster on low heat in the microwave for one minute and placed them on top of the salad. For the dressing, I drizzled olive oil, spritzed on the juice from half a lemon, and added freshly ground pepper. Voila! I had a great lunch, finished every last bite, and didn’t let the expensive part of my meal go to waste.

I am also sharing my recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, This Chick Cooks and Food Trip Friday.

Fresh Ideas for Dressing Your Salads

Below are three salad dressings to try whether at home, at a restaurant, or on the go.

The first idea, shown in the picture, comes from a supportive reader of this blog who regularly makes her own salad dressings to use throughout the workweek. She got creative and made one without balsamic vinegar (so it is free of brewer’s yeast) and cane sugar. Here is the recipe:

Natalie’s Lemon Honey Dressing: Mix 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup canola oil, and 2tbs honey together. Add seasonings such as garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper, or fresh herbs. Keep in a sealed container and refrigerate until it is time for a salad course.

The second idea came to me when sensitivehusband and I were out to dinner last week. I wanted to order a salad before my meal but could not select a dressing because each either had balsamic vinegar, cane sugar or both. I am not sure whether it was a moment of clarity or just a strong desire to not eat dry lettuce, but I came up with an idea. I asked our server to bring me some olive oil and a wedge of lemon with my salad. Add a little pepper to that combination and you have a tasty and refreshing accompaniment to your greens.

And last, but certainly not least, is a delicious store-bought salad dressing. Annie’s Organic Green Garlic Salad Dressing can be found at health foods stores, major grocery stores in the organic section, and online. It is a wonderful mixture of vegetable oil, spinach, garlic, parsley, lemon and other seasonings, along with being a vinegar and cane sugar free option.

I hope you find these ideas to be useful. If you have other tips for salad dressings, please share them!