Today I have a special guest blogger I want to introduce you to. Her name is Tarah and she is a real food nutritionist. Today she has so graciously shared with us her favorite Winter Salad in a Jar recipe. This Winter Salad in a Jar recipe has warm flavors like roasted butternut squash, chickpeas and quinoa that will have you wishing it was winter year round.
I’ve seen some pretty sad salads in my day. Mostly when it is served as a side at a steakhouse, where it’s really more of an afterthought than a side dish. You know the salads I’m referring to; iceberg lettuce, a few sad tomatoes, three cheddar cheese shreds and five giant croutons. It looks-and tastes-pretty depressing.
On top of my extreme pickiness, I think this is why I didn’t much care for salad growing up. Luckily, my tastes have changed and I now love pretty much every food under the sun, and I really love playing in the kitchen to see what I can throw together to create healthy, delicious recipes with fun flavor combinations…like this salad!
This Winter Salad in a Jar recipe is anything but sad. It is perfect for the cold winter months, with warm flavors like roasted butternut squash and chickpeas, quinoa and a maple Dijon dressing. This salad does take a teensy bit of time to prepare, but it makes four servings so you can pack it up and have lunch to last most of the work week.
This vegetarian salad even packs a little protein punch with the addition of chickpeas and quinoa. For a long time, I was eating meat with every meal, but I am trying to work in a few more vegetarian meals throughout the week. You know, less T-Rex and more Brontosaurus.
If you don’t have mason jars or similar tall, wide mouth jars to pack this salad in, I recommend storing the ingredients separately until the day you plan to serve this salad. Storing it in mason jars allows you to stack the ingredients so the greens and the dressing are separated and nothing gets soggy.
My goal with this Winter Salad in a Jar recipe, as with most of my recipes, is that it will inspire you to come up with your own combinations. There are so many mason jar salad recipes you could put together! I hope you love this winter salad in a jar, and I hope you go out there and create your own favorite salad recipe. Be sure to stop by my site for lots more recipes, health and fitness tips and a little peek into my healthy pursuits. Enjoy!
Winter Salad in a Jar with Maple Dijon Dressing
Time: 40 minutes
For the salad:
2 cups small butternut squash cubes
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Dash of salt and pepper
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup Granny Smith apples, diced into small cubes
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
6 cups kale and baby spinach mix
For the dressing:
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
Dash of salt and pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
To prepare the salads:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, stir together butternut squash cubes, chickpeas, olive oil, salt and pepper until everything is well coated. Spread on a large parchment-lined pan and roast for 35-45 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow to cool before assembling salad.
- While veggies are roasting, add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside. Allow to cool before assembling salad.
- To make the dressing, whisk together all dressing ingredients except for olive oil. Slowly pour in the olive oil and continue to whisk until well combined.
To assemble the salads:
- Pour two tablespoons dressing into the bottom of each jar/container.
- Top with 1/2 cup roasted squash and chickpea mixtures, 1/4 cup cooked quinoa, 1/4 cup diced apples, 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds and 1 tbsp sunflower seeds.
- Fill the rest of the jar with a large handful of greens and seal tightly.
- Salad will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Before serving, stir or shake contents to mix ingredients together. This can be eaten straight from the jar or transfer salad to a bowl or plate.
- Store remaining salad dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Shake or whisk well before serving.
“Tarah is a real food nutritionist, health and fitness fanatic and writer in New Albany, IN. She holds an MS in Health and Nutrition Education from Hawthorn University. She is also the author of The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book and blogger behind What I Gather. “
This sounds like a delicious recipe, Lara! I will definitely prepare a jar! Can this be kept in the prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a couple of days? I’m thinking of including it in next week’s meal plan. 🙂
Yes you can make a few ahead of time. I don’t keep mine more than 5 days. Just make sure whenever you add dressings to salads that are in jars that you put them in the bottom and then everything else on top!