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Sometimes all I want for dinner is a big plate of salad. They are easy to put together, great for cleaning out the fridge, healthy and delicious. I recently came up with a combination we like so much, it has been on the meal plan weekly ever since. The idea was born from my craving for roasted squash with goat cheese: I knew as soon as I started fixating on the idea as a dinner plan that it wouldn’t fly with the mister, so I decided to find a creative solution to my problem. How could I eat that for dinner without needing to make something completely different for him? I roasted the squash, made it an ingredient in the salad, and left the chevre off his portion.  Win win win.

Green Salad with Roasted Squash, Chevre & Pecans

I build my salads right on the plate; I’m not going to specify quantities because I don’t measure ingredients for salad. 🙂  Build yours layer by layer, as I do, or toss it with dressing in a bowl before serving.

Greens: I like the Herb Mix from Earthbound Farms, baby spinach or arugula.

Squash: Cut a large butternut squash in half; peel and remove seeds. Cut into 1″ pieces and toss in a bowl with 1-2 T. olive oil, 1 T. maple syrup, a dash of cayenne, salt & pepper.  Roast at 400 degrees for 30 mins. or until tender. You can do this step a day or two ahead and put cold squash in your salad, or roast it the same night and serve warm– both options are delicious.

Pecans: roughly chop raw or lightly-toasted pecans.

Avocado: I slice up half an avocado but won’t tell anyone if you want to use the whole thing.

Chevre: a few ounces of your favorite to crumble over the top. Bleu cheese works nicely, too.

Maple balsamic dressing: I like my dressing heavy on the vinegar, so please taste and adjust to suit your preferences. Here’s my formula: 1 T. maple syrup, 2 T. balsamic vinegar, 3 T. grapeseed or olive oil, salt & pepper. Don’t forget to taste-test *before* you dress the salad!

Other possible additions: raisins, dried cranberries, slices of tart apple or pear, clementine segments, hard-boiled egg, poached egg (R does often this and LOVES it), roasted chicken, or anything else that sounds good to you. You may have noticed a cherry tomato or two in my picture– I had a handful left over from another recipe and threw them in.