This post is a jackpot for your recipe arsenal: one awesome roasted squash recipe to use all season long (think: Thanksgiving side dish!), one KILLER dressing recipe that goes with everything, and a super easy — and more delicious — ricotta cheese alternative for all you vegans out there. All in one salad! We’re firm believers of #EatTheRainbow, both from an aesthetic and nutritional standpoint. When your plate is full of different colors, you’re likely getting more diversity of vitamins and minerals in your diet.
Something about the creamy sweetness of the Maple Dressing combined with the spicy arugula and savory squash is To. Die. For. Since the dressing ingredients are pretty much kitchen staples, it doesn’t hurt to double the recipe and keep some on hand all week long. This cuts back on buying store bought dressings, which are loaded with processed vegetable oils that have been oxidized (one of the main causes of inflammation).
Whip up a batch of the “ricotta cheese” in a high powered blender and you can use it as a cheese alternative and plop onto salads, as we’ve done below. You can also use it as a dip for crudités, as a spread for crostini, or even in place of mayonnaise on your sandwich.
Enjoy and happy fall!
Ingredients for the Maple Dressing:
⅓ cup olive oil
2 Tbs. maple syrup
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. minced shallot
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
½ tsp. pepper
Ingredients for the Macadamia Nut Ricotta:
1 ½ cups raw macadamia nuts
⅔ cups water
½ tsp. garlic salt
1 clove of garlic
Ingredients for the salad:
1 lb. delicata squash
1 Tbs. olive oil or coconut oil
½ tsp. garlic paste or 1 minced garlic clove
Salt & pepper
6-8 cups arugula
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tbs. shelled pistachios
2 Tbs. sliced shallot
½ avocado, sliced
1) Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into ½ inch size half moons. Toss with olive oil (or melted coconut oil) garlic, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and soft when pierced with a fork.
2) Make the Maple Dressing: Combine the ingredients together in a small mason jar or other airtight container and shake vigorously. There will be leftovers from this meal, which will last for about a week in the pantry.
3) Make the Macadamia Nut Ricotta: Combine the ingredients in a blender or small food processor and blend until chunky. Season with more salt if desired. Store in the fridge and it will thicken up once cold.
4) Toss the roasted squash, arugula, tomatoes, chickpeas, pistachios, and shallot with a drizzle of the Maple Dressing. Top salad with a dollop of ricotta and sliced avocado.