Kick off your week with a healthy dinner full of fresh ingredients and flavors, all while skipping the meat. The key to a successful Meatless Monday dinner is feeling satisfied by still including a protein source. By introducing more sustainable foods to your weekly diet, Meatless Monday will improve personal health and make the world a little greener. Check out www.meatlessmonday.com for more information on the amazing benefits and impact doing this just once a week can do for you and your family.
Prepare a delicious, meatless dinner this week full of nutrition with Direct Energy’s autumn-inspired acorn squash & power greens salad. Packed with fall ingredients and powerhouse superfoods perfectly blended together, this recipe will help you easily forget the meat tonight.
Roasted, seasoned acorn squash slices are one of my favorite fall foods. Beyond this salad recipe, you can top them with whipped ricotta cheese mixed with herbs, serve them alongside any meal as a side dish, or even stuff the halves before slicing with a stuffing. Keep this part of the recipe in mind when getting creative and building other recipes for your family.
Red pears are sweet, juicy fruit easily available during this season. Dried cranberries are always a favorite fall ingredient reminiscent of holiday meals. Adding them both to the salad gives a sweet yet tangy element that pairs perfectly with most zesty apple cider vinaigrette you find in the grocery store.
For added texture and color, I add salted, roasted pepitas to the salad. These are shelled, dried, and roasted pumpkin seeds that deliver a perfect crunch and taste to any fall salad. These can be found in almost any grocery by the dried fruits and nuts, and sometimes you can even find them flavored!
Kale and spinach are excellent dark greens full of vitamins and iron. They make for great additions to meatless salad recipes because they bring the nutritional value of meal without the negative aspects of animal proteins.
Let’s get cooking!
Acorn Squash and Power Greens Salad
- 1 Acorn squash
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 tbsp. Turbinado sugar
- ½ tsp. Sea Salt
- ¼ tsp. All spice
- ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
- 1 Bag baby kale and spinach, mixed
- 1 Red pear, sliced
- ½ c. Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 c. Dried cranberries
- 1/3 c. Pepitas (roasted and salted pumpkin seeds)
- Apple Cider Vinaigrette (your favorite from the store)
1) Prep the acorn squash by washing it and first slicing it in half. Use an extremely sharp, large knife. If squash is a little under ripened or too difficult to cut through, wrap it with 3 to 4 wet paper towels and microwave it for 2 minutes before slicing. Cut those halves into slices as shown in the pictures.
2) Rub the acorn squash slices with a small amount of the softened butter on both sides.
3) Mix the turbinado sugar, sea salt, nutmeg, and all spice together. Sprinkle this mixture evenly on the acorn squash slices.
4) Bake acorn squash slices on a baking sheet in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
5) To prepare the salad, toss the kale, spinach, Pepitas, cranberries, and feta cheese together in a big mixing bowl.
6) Toss in as little or as much apple cider vinegar as you like. Some people like their salads very lightly dressed where other people prefer a lot of dressing.
7) Top the tossed salad with the roasted acorn squash slices and red pear slices along with a garnish on individual plates or bowls made of a few extra Pepitas, feta cheese, and cranberries.
I hope you enjoy this delicious fall-inspired acorn squash and power greens salad and have fun making it.
I will see you next week for another one of Direct Energy’s installments of Meatless Monday!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan