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Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seeds (GF)

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I’m fortunate to work with a number of fellow foodies. I can’t tell you how many lunch breaks we spend sharing our cooking successes and failures, swapping restaurant recommendations and sampling each other’s creations.

Many of us have worked together for years, so we know all about each other’s food preferences and quirks:

  • who doesn’t eat gluten,
  • who puts hot sauce on everything,
  • who avoids red meat and
  • who won’t go near an avocado (I know it’s hard to believe, but there exists a person who doesn’t like avocados!?)

So, my ears perked up when one of my friends came to work and said, “Karen, I made a salad you would love!”, then went on to describe this Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seeds. Yup. My lunch buddies know me well.

This salad is beyond!! I’ve made it a number of times and it’s always a hit. The sweetness of the butternut squash balances the peppery bite of the arugula and the pumpkin seeds add just the right salty crunch. I love it as is, but at times I’ve topped it with goat cheese and dried cranberries, and that’s amazing, as well.

Since it has a decidedly autumn flair, I’ve included it on my Thanksgiving menu this year. I urge you to give this one a try. Perhaps it’ll make its way onto your Thanksgiving table, as well.

Enjoy and have a wonderful, Wellegant™ week,

Karen

Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

1 5 ounce box of pre-washed baby arugula

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces  (**NOTE: I buy the squash, peeled and pre-cut, in a 12 ounce package)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin oilive oil

¼ cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 ounces of goat cheese, optional

3 Tbsp. dried cranberries, optional

Balsamic Dressing:

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the olive oil on a cookie sheet and place into the oven until the oil liquifies. Place the squash cubes on the cookie sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the cubes over and roast for another 15 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily into the cubes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper (to taste). Whisk it up.

Place the arugula into a large salad bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the squash cubes, toss gently and top with the roasted pumpkin seeds. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Optional, top each salad with a small round of goat cheese.

Serves 8, as a side salad.

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