This Roasted Butternut Squash Arugula Salad is packed with fresh seasonal ingredients, it has great texture and flavors, topped with feta cheese crumbles and seasoned with a light avocado oil dressing!
This Roasted Butternut Squash and Arugula Salad is the perfect transition salad, as you bring winter to a closure and open the doors for fresh spring flavors! ✨
Recently I shared with some of you about my true feelings and struggles with eating salads. As I get older I understand more and more the importance of eating salads everyday, but truth is, deep down I struggled to commit to this better-for-you daily habit.
While I secretly envied those who were happily satisfied with a bowl of salad, I was the one ordering wings or pasta! And although the natural inclination aspect of it will probably never change, I have learned to make salads more attractive to my eyes (and taste buds!) and therefore irresistible!
INCLUDED IN MY LIST OF FAVORITE SALADS…
Because I believe that this isn’t only MY struggle, I am sharing below a few ways you can determinate what type of salads you are more likely to say YES to;
I would consider this the number one reason why I started loving salads. Understanding your body type is key to building a salad that you will actually say yes to. Basically aside from the “general” public who are perfectly fine with an ice-cold glass of water and a bowl of leafy greens, there is a smaller group of folks out there (myself included) who are more inclined towards “warmer” foods and flavors such as cinnamon, ginger as well as the temperature of the food itself.
The solution for me was to add warm ingredients (cooked, even if served cold) or warm flavors to my salads, mixed in with the traditional raw and “cold” ingredients expected in a salad.
This absolutely changed everything for me, but there was still another factor weighing on me…
2. The Hunger Factor
Another reason why I rarely ate salads is because it never fulfilled my hunger. It was a if I never ate that meal. I swear! Once I started adding more carb-like veggies and substantial ingredients to my salads, it took care of this inconvenient problem.
3. The Dressing
Notice that in all my salads there is never a heavy, creamy or saturated dressing. This is because I simply cannot tolerate the overwhelm of most salad dressings and to me it defeats the purpose anyway. My favorite dressing will have a healthy oil (usually olive oil or avocado oil), fresh lemon and a few herbs to season and add a bit of flavor.
4. Personalize it
Lastly, lets state the obvious because it took me a long time to realize this. Use ingredients that you LOVE and can’t say no to! There are so many types of leafy greens out there, who knows you might like certain types more then others. Arugula and Kale are my two favorite, while the traditional romaine lettuce doesn’t quite produce the same level excitement. Or maybe the you just need to add a handful of cilantro to bring up the flavors. Perhaps you like a crunchy topping, since croutons aren’t my favorite I always top my salads with roasted chickpeas! Play around. Figure out!
Get the idea? I really hope this “guide” will help you sort through your likes and dislikes when it comes to salads. Please be sure to share your salad creations with me using #gardeninthekitchen !
- 6 cups wild arugula, washed
- 16 oz frozen butternut squash, cubed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 slice lemon, juiced
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place frozen cubes of butternut squash on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and paprika. Bake for 20 minutes. When done, allow it to cool off then place the entire sheet pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the arugula in cold running water. Get all the chopping and slicing done. Place all the ingredients in a big bowl.
In a small glass bowl mix the avocado oil, juice from a 1/2 lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.
When the butternut squash is chilled, fold in with the remaining ingredients. Coat salad with seasoned avocado oil and serve