Dinner Salads with Marinated Chickpeas & Cilantro Vinaigrette

For some reason, when I think about dinner I rarely consider salads. I think I have this idea in my head that when I’m making dinner for my husband it has to be a “thing” and a salad isn’t a “thing.” I usually think of it as needing to make a protein and a vegetable – but hello! Dinner salads are a protein and a vegetable!

I made this salad to be served along side the Turkey & Candied Bacon Paninis from yesterday, so I opted to use marinated chickpeas instead of a steak, chicken or shrimp. You can totally add an animal or fish protein to this salad to up the ante for an actual dinner salad! You do you boo, right?!

It’s hard to keep things fresh and new, especially when you’re talking about weekday cooking. Usually, I go to my go-to vinaigrette recipe, but it really can get a little old. There’s only so many times I can eat salad without getting bored, let alone salad with the same mustard-vinegar-lemon-olive-oil combo. So, for this salad I whipped up a cilantro vinaigrette (which I served with roasted potatoes, too!) – and I’m a better woman for it.

Hummus Crusted Chicken

Since we first were married, this crusted hummus chicken recipe has been on of my go-to weeknight meals. It’s satisfying, quick when you use a thin chicken breast, and feels like you actually took some effort to get dinner on the table. And I say this wanting you to know that most weeknights in our house is a protein and a vegetable sauteed in a pan together for dinner. So this always feels like, wow you made dinner!

This time, I topped 2 breasts with paprika and 2 with the Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning. Because it literally tastes great on everything. I made roasted garlic hummus for this recipe, but you can use absolutely any flavor and you can use store bought!

Favorite Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

I really, really love fall. I love sunny, crisp fall days, but I also adore rainy ones. Anyone else? I love a cozy meal while it’s raining outside. Something charming about it to me. This fall harvest salad with roasted butternut squash is so perfect for a day like today, where it’s raining and a little gloomy outside. Crunchy, a little sweet, *almost* healthy – I’ve got this one on repeat lately!

 

It’s such an easy recipe once you’ve roasted up your butternut squash. It’s also one of those non-recipe-recipes that I am so fond of, that is completely customizeable to your tastes! I love the squash with the gorgonzola and pecans, and the cranberries add a little sweetness, and the onions add a little bite. Yes, please!

 

Let me know how you make your own version of this salad!

 

Fall Harvest Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Yields: 4-6 servings, depending on serving size | Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash, cubed

1.5 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon each: salt, pepper, allspice (optional)

1/4 cup pecans

1/8 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup gorgonzola (obsessed with the one I found at Trader Joe’s – it’s beautiful and very tasty!)

1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly

1 pound, mixed greens

Dressing:

1 tbsp each: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard

salt, pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Prepare a pan with foil & cooking spray or a silpat (my preference). Peel and cube your butternut squash and place in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil over squash and sprinkle spices. Toss gently to evenly coat the cubed squash. Place on the baking sheet.

Once your oven is preheated, place the sheet in the oven and roast the butternut squash for 20-30 minutes. Shake the pan at 10 minutes and at 20 minutes, check for doneness.

While your squash is roasting, combine pecans, cranberries, gorgonzola, red onion and mixed greens in a salad bowl.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk; alternatively, combine dressing ingredients in a small jar, close with a lid and shake until well combined.

Remove squash from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes. Dress your salad with the dressing and gently combine; add the squash gently.