Since we’re in the crucial weeks of the “New Year, New You” phase, I’m sure you’re all getting pretty tired of salads.
Or maybe you love salads and could eat a salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I definitely could, especially if they looked like today’s salad.
When I say I could eat salads for b/l/d, let me preface that by saying that my salads aren’t really salads. They’re basically meals with some lettuce thrown in.
I remember the first time I told Lu I was making salads for dinner, after we first moved in together. He did the whole, “Salads? Won’t I be hungry after?”
Just like he is in a spin class when he grabs the 5 pound weights instead of the 2s or 3s, he was proven wrong: he couldn’t finish his plate, just like he can’t finish the arm routine!
Anyway, my point is this: salads don’t have to be dreaded and the typical toppings don’t need to be used – who says you have to use tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers? Why not use pear and butternut squash noodles instead?
By adding spiralized veggies and fruits to your salads, your brain thinks “oh, I’m eating pasta, not salad!” and your taste buds will be overjoyed.
Now, this maple-sesame vinaigrette. Don’t change a thing about it – it’s honestly the tastiest vinaigrette. The sweetness in the squash and the pears bring out its sweetness, while the saltiness of the soy sauce and savoriness of the sesame oil balance everything else out for the perfect, well, umami.
The walnuts and pomegranates make this winter-friendly and add even more color, texture, flavor and nutrients.
I mean, isn’t this “salad” just beautiful? I may even make it my iPhone home screen background.
What are your favorite spiralized veggies and fruits to add to a salad?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Pear, Pomegranate and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Sesame Vinaigrette
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled, Blade B, noodles trimmed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large asian pear
- 5 oz container of arugula
- ¾ cup pomegranate seeds
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- pepper to taste
- 1 garlic clove crushed and then minced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the butternut squash noodles. Coat lightly with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper and roast for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through but still al dente.
- While the squash cooks, combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
- Spiralize the pear and add to a large mixing bowl with the arugula and walnuts. Once butternut squash is done, add it to the large bowl, drizzle over the vinaigrette and toss thoroughly.
- Serve immediately.