3 Favorite Fall Salads

I hate lunch. Period. It's without a doubt the most boring meal of the day. Breakfast excites me - scrambled eggs, avocado toast, smoothies, Greek yogurt with fruit, pancakes, chia seed pudding, the list goes on and on. Dinner is fine too - the possibilities are endless: sushi, salmon with veggies, tacos or hell, even breakfast for dinner. But lunch is so lame. I don't particularly like sandwiches. And that's all that comes to mind when I think of lunch. So I usually just end up snacking, which doesn't always go well. So lately I've been making salads with lots of color, flavor and nutrients. Two of these salads were inspired by other recipes I've used in the past and made my own, and truthfully, the other one was kind of an accident when I was super hungry and threw together what I had in my fridge (I'll let you guess which one that is). These are currently my three favorite Fall salads. What makes a salad a "Fall salad" you ask? You can basically toss pumpkin seeds, butternut squash or roasted beets into a salad and TA-DA - there you have it. Now on to the fun stuff...

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Roasted Veggie Fall Salad (adapted from With Food and Love)

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

1 head garlic

1 bunch carrots (I like the small variation like these from TJ's)

1 bunch beets

1 sweet potato

4 tbs olive oil

4 cups kale

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (I like these)

sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the top 1/4 of the garlic head and drizzle with 1/2 tbs of olive oil. Wrap in foil and roast for 20 minutes. Keep it wrapped when you remove it from the oven. 

2. Increase the heat of the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the carrots and beets. Place them in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, dice the sweet potato into half inch chunks. Drain the water from the beets and carrots, and place the beets, carrots and sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, and drizzle 1 tbs of olive oil on top. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

3. Place the kale on another baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil and sea salt and bake for about 5 minutes. 

4. Remove the garlic from its skin and place in a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. 

5. Toss the beets, carrots and sweet potatoes with the garlicky lemon dressing and layer on top of the kale. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve!

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Kale/Spinach Lentil Salad

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

3 cups Tuscan kale chopped

2 cups spinach

1 cup lentils (I like these from TJ's)

4 hard boiled eggs (I buy them already cooked from TJ's here)

1/2 avocado

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs olive oil

1/8 tsp stevia (or 1/2 tbs honey)

salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak the raisins in the red wine vinegar for 10-15 minutes. 

2. Chop the HB eggs and avocado into 1/4 inch pieces. 

3. Remove the raisins from the vinegar and set aside. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and stevia (or honey) to the vinegar and whisk. 

4. Place the spinach and kale mix into a bowl, add the dressing and toss. Add the lentils, raisins, eggs and avocado and mix. Top with pumpkin seeds and serve. 

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Spinach Butternut Squash Salad

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

5 cups baby spinach

1 cup butternut squash (I like this pre chopped one from TJ's)

1/2 lentils (I like these pre cooked ones from TJ's)

1/4 cup garbanzo beans

3 tbs crumbled feta cheese

3 tbs pumpkin seeds

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs red wine vinegar

sea salt and pepper to taste

1. If you didn't buy the pre chopped kind, chop the butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes and spread them out on a foil lined baking sheet and bake them on 425 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  

2. If you purchased the pre-chopped kind, like the TJ's one, you might be able to steam them in the bag in the microwave (much easier). 

3. While you're preparing the squash, mix the lemon, olive oil, red wine vinegar and stevia (or honey). Whisk together until smooth. Add to the spinach in a large salad bowl and toss. 

4. Add the lentils, garbanzo beans and butternut squash and toss. Top with feta cheese and pumpkin seeds and enjoy!