With the winter in full force here in the great northern tundra, we’ve been trying to find ways to eat healthy with the curse of holiday treats. I’ve been throwing together salads to try and get our servings of vegetables, fruit, as well as healthy fats and grains. This vegan harvest salad with apple, squash, cranberries, quinoa, and pecans really hits all your essentials.
If you’re anything like me, winter is the time to make like a bear and hibernate. That means eating a lot, less movement, and more indoors. Especially with an infant at home, we’re definitely feeling a lack of movement. As a stay at home mom, it’s hard to get out with her when it’s so bitter cold, and she doesn’t like being bundled up so it’s easier to just stay home more often than not. That said, our eating habits are changing to reflect the change in lifestyle.
This is one of a few salads we’ve been munching on. As always, my go to is this copycat modern greek with quinoa from Panera, but we try to switch it up to get some variation. This one we enjoyed both with the squash, and without. My husband actually prefers it without the squash, so feel free to omit to save yourself time and calories. 🙂
What you’ll love about this vegan harvest salad?
- It’s vegan. No cheese, processed sugars, or meats. All natural delicious, hearty nutrients.
- It’s filling. You will feel like you ate a full meal if you split this salad in two. Or serve it up as a delicious appetizer and your guests won’t be disappointed.
- It’s all the flavors of fall. Apples, pecans, cranberries, squash. All. Things. Fall.
How to make this salad?
- Start by roasting the squash. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Wash and cut the squash down the middle. Remove the seeds from the center then slice in half circles about 1/2-1″ in width. Sprinkle with olive oil and seasoned salt. Place on a parchment paper or silicone bake sheet lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (until a fork punctures without too much force).
- Cook the quinoa on the stovetop by following this recipe.
- Make the sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. There will be a natural separation so don’t worry if your ingredients separate right away.
- Chop up your lettuce and apple. If using whole heads of romaine, make sure to wash your leaves well prior to shredding. Wash, peel (if peeling), and core your apple. Then slice into thin slices.
- Once squash is cold, use a knife or spoon to remove the skin and cut into three pieces per half circle.
- To assemble the salad, toss all ingredients in bowl and mix well.
- Separate into serving bowls, and top with dressing. I use about 1 tablespoon per 1/4 of the salad, but more or less to your tastes.
Vegan Harvest Salad With Apple
Vegan Harvest Salad
- 1 Head Romaine, Washed and Shredded
- 1 Honeycrisp Apple, Sliced
- ¼ cup Dried Cranberries (or Raisins)
- ½ cup Chopped Pecans
- ½ cup Quinoa, Dry then Cooked
- 1 Butternut Squash, medium, roasted (optional)
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- Seasoning Salt, to taste
Lemon Ginger Dressing
- 1 tsp ginger puree
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp maple syrup or honey
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
Roasted Butternut Squash
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- If you choose to add squash, chop it in half down the middle and remove the seeds. Then cut into half circles between 1/2″ and 1″ and width. Keep the size consistent to allow even cooking.
- Place the half circles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle olive oil on both sides.
- Sprinkle with seasoned salt lightly.
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes. If your pieces are small, check tenderness at 25 minutes. When soft, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- When cool, remove the skins with a spoon or knife, use care to prevent any cuts.
Lemon Ginger Sauce
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. There will be some separation when you’re done, this is normal.
- Mix together 1/2 cup dry quinoa and 1 cup of water or vegetable broth in a small pot. Mix together to ensure no clumps of seeds has formed.
- Bring to boil on a stovetop, then drop the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes. You can check it’s done by tilting the pot to the side. If you see liquid, leave it cook for a few additional minutes.
Assembly of the Harvest Salad
- Wash and peel the apple. You can choose to keep the skin too. Core then chop into thin slices.
- Wash romaine leaves and shred. You can also use pre-washed and cut romaine, but with recent e.coli outbreaks, I prefer to wash my own.
- Once squash is cooled, peel off the skin and cut into 1″ pieces (about 3 pieces per half circle).
- Place the romaine in a large bowl and then toss the apple, squash, and cooked quinoa on top.
- Mix in the pecans, and cranberries.
- Dish into 4 small bowls, or two large bowls. Top with sauce, ensure you get some of both layers of the sauce being it separates.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 day, be sure not to add dressing to it all if you plan to save any.
Let me know what you thought of this recipe in the comments below. Did you make any modifications? What were they?