Vitamin Glow Warm Squash Salad

Ingredients:
 
For the butternut squash:
 
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil of choice
  • Fine sea salt
 
For the Garlic-Dijon Vinaigrette:
 
  • 1 small (3 g) garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grapeseed oil (or other light-tasting oil)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) Dijon mustard
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
 
For the salad:
 
  • 1 (5-ounce/142 g) package baby romaine or mixed greens
  • 1 large (270 g) avocado, pitted and sliced
  • Heaping 1/2 cup (65 g) chopped walnuts*
  • 2 tablespoons (18 g) hemp hearts
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder, for garnish
 
Directions:
 
For the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel, halve, and seed the squash. Slice the squash into 1/2-inch wedges. Transfer to the baking sheet and toss with the tablespoon of oil. Spread the squash into an even layer and season generously with salt. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once halfway through until the squash is fork tender and lightly browned.
 
Meanwhile, prepare the Garlic-Dijon Vinaigrette: Finely grate or mince the garlic and place it into a small glass jar. Add the vinegar, oil, lemon juice, Dijon, salt, pepper, and maple syrup. Secure the lid and shake vigorously until combined. Taste the dressing and adjust the oil, salt, and maple syrup, if desired. You can also make the dressing in a blender or food processor, if you’d prefer.
 
When the squash is nearly finished roasting, begin building your salad bowls: Portion 2 to 3 handfuls of the baby romaine/mixed greens into four large shallow bowls. Drizzle a tablespoon of dressing over each bowl and toss until the greens are fully coated.
 
Divide the sliced avocado, walnuts, and hemp hearts into four portions, and evenly distribute on top of each bowl.
 
When the squash is finished roasting, transfer several wedges directly from the pan to the top of each bowl. Finish each salad with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, as well as a final drizzle of dressing. Serve immediately.
 
Tips:
 
* Feel free to use toasted walnuts, if you prefer, but rest assured that raw work wonderfully too!

You can absolutely make this salad for a single portion too! To build just one salad, I suggest portioning each ingredient as follows: approximately 2 handfuls of greens, 1/4 of a large avocado (sliced), 3/4 cup warm roasted squash, 1 to 2 tablespoons vinaigrette (to taste), 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped walnuts, and 1/2 tablespoon of hemp hearts.

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