I recently was browsing through the recipes on foodbuzz.com and saw a salad recipe posted by http://jenniferscooking.blogspot.com/. It looked so delicious, I was inspired. Like so many people right now, I’m trying to make healthy choices. This is a nice, satisfying change from the same ol’ salad everyone has been eating lately while trying to lose weight. What’s even better, is that you can save time and effort by purchasing a rotisserie chicken at the grocery if you would like, and use that for the chicken in this salad. Or, of course, you can omit the chicken entirely for a vegetarian dish. What’s so wonderful about salads is the versatility. Feel free to adjust however you choose, depending on what ingredients are available.
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into ½ inch pieces
½ T olive oil
Salt and pepper
Baby spinach leaves (one large bunch), washed and dried thoroughly
2 T Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 cooked chicken breasts, torn into pieces (a store-bought rotisserie chicken works well here)
¼ c roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
4 oz feta cheese
3 T dried cranberries
Cherry tomatoes (optional)
1/8 c balsamic vinegar
1 t honey
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
¼ c olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the diced squash on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and drizzle olive oil over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake for 30 minutes or until the squash has begun to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit.
In a bowl, add balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic clove, salt, and pepper. Whisk ingredients together, and while whisking, pour in the olive oil slowly. (Alternatively, if you have a stick blender, use it to mix these ingredients.) Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Divide spinach leaves on four plates, and sprinkle with parsley. Top with roasted squash, chicken, and sprinkle pumpkin seeds, feta, and cranberries over. Add a cherry tomato or two if you desire. Drizzle dressing over, and serve.