Hearty and comforting, this harvest salad with quinoa, roasted beets and butternut squash will balance heavier holiday eating. The recipe is loose, so you can alter it to fix your cravings or empty your fridge.
“If you can make it yourself, don’t order it at a restaurant.” This was the mantra my mother repeated when we would leave her kitchen. Practically, it meant don’t order a basic PB&J off a kids’ menu, but chicken tenders were fair game. Fast forward to today, and I flinch when ordering salads off menus. This tick is in direct conflict with the mantra of my close friend and adventuring companion Lindsey, aka The Food Mood Girl, aka the greens evangelist. She lives by the principle “a salad is always better when someone else makes it for you.” When I needed to borrow Lindsey’s kitchen because of my sink crisis, I offered to make her a harvest salad as fast track to her heart.
I could eat this hearty harvest salad all winter long, especially as a balance to heavier holiday meals and travels on the trails of doughnuts, pastries, and biscuits bigger than my head. There are no exact quantities because hey, I’m not a restaurant with price/weight quotas. I’m a human who sometimes wants an extra scoop of quinoa.
I pair this harvest salad with olive oil and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for a salty, soy-style salad, or to appease my recent caesar salad cravings (and to test out one of our ExpoEast scores), Primal Kitchen’s Caesar Dressing. It’s creamy and garlicky and one of the purest ingredient lists I’ve seen for a commercial salad dressing. If you, like Lindsey, want someone else to do all your salad work, I’d recommend the Primal route. Either way, crank the oven, start roasting and eat those greens!
(Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free)
About this Recipe: Below are suggested salad combinations, but this is really a choose-your-own-adventure style recipe. Want something even heartier? Bulk up the quinoa and make this a gluten-free grain bowl.
organic mixed Greens (spinach, baby kale, mâche, rainbow chard)
organic red cabbage, sliced
cooked Quinoa (such as Tiny Hero Golden Quinoa)
roasted red & yellow beets, diced
roasted butternut squash, diced
feta cheese crumbles (or bleu cheese)
Optional Proteins (skip for Vegan/Vegetarian)
Smoked or roasted salmon
Combine ingredients, toss and serve with dressing of choice.