As we ease into fall, you don’t have to ditch those cooling summer salads yet. Adding warming, grounding fall squash and spiced pecans can bring you the warmth and nutrients you need. I love this dressing because it’s light, flavorful and nourishing with fresh ginger, which also support immune function. 

Autumn Harvest Salad with Caramelized Squash, Spiced Pecans and Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette

Yield: serves 2 to 4, Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil or high-quality olive oil

1 acorn squash, sliced in 1/2-inch thick rounds and seeds removed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup whole pecans, chopped

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

6 cups mix of baby arugula, baby spinach/romaine

1 avocado, sliced

1 pomegranate, arils removed

1 seedless cucumber, sliced

Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette

1/3 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 garlic clove, freshly grated

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add coconut oil or olive oil. Cover the squash slices with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. Heat a small skillet over low heat and add the pecans. Toast until they are slightly golden and fragrant, stirring and shaking the pan as they toast, for about 5 minutes. Toss them with the pumpkin pie spice, if desired. Add the greens to a large bowl with a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Add in the avocado, pomegranate arils, cucumber, pecans and squash pieces. Cover with the pomegranate dressing.

Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette

Combine pom juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil while constantly whisking until the dressing comes together. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Shake to combine. If you can’t find pomegranate juice, you can use unsweetened cranberry juice. 

Baked Acorn Squash (option 2)

Cut squash into chunks, drizzle olive oil, sea salt & pepper over them. Bake on 375° for 40-45 min. 

For more delicious recipes like this one, join me every month (the 2nd Saturday) online for some fun cooking classes. Nov. 14 is Healthy Comfort Foods and Dec. 12 is Healthy Holiday Faves. Sign up at my website, www.UnlockBetterHealth.com.

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