Can we get a “TGIFF”?!? It’s Foodie Friday, which I’m sure is almost as exciting as the impending weekend, and I have a great recipe to share with you today! Thanksgiving is now less than two weeks away, and I’m guessing that many of you planners are already finalizing your Thanksgiving dinner menus. Well, don’t finalize too quickly, because you’ll want to make room for this dish! It contains another new-to-me type of squash, and I can tell it will quickly become a new favorite.
It’s no secret that most Thanksgiving dinners are filled with lots of white, simple-carb-based foods … and I certainly think you should enjoy the ones that you love and indulge on this special day. But I also think that it can’t hurt to toss in one more dish that’s chock-full of Thanksgiving flavor … and happens to also be colorful, filled with nutrients and antioxidants, and very healthy. Speaking of chock-full, ovens on Thanksgiving Day are always full, and this dish can be made on the stovetop to make more room for your standard Thanksgiving treats! So join me in adding some green to your Thanksgiving table!
Cranberry Maple Delicata Salad
This dish is a perfect blend of flavors – the sweet tartness of the dried cranberries and maple syrup blend well with the creaminess of goat cheese, the warmth of cinnamon, a kick of spice from the cayenne, and mouthful after mouthful of freshness from the vegetables.
Serves 1 (or serves 3 as a side)
- 3 cups spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 delicata squash
- 1 T reduced-sugar dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 T crumbled goat cheese
- 1.5 T walnut pieces
- 5 spears of asparagus
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- shake or two of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1.5 tsp orange juice
- 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Poke a few holes through the skin of a whole delicata squash. Microwave entire squash for 3 minutes to soften. When cool enough to handle, slice squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds and pulp.
- Slice squash thinly (about 1/2 inch thick) and lay slices on a grill pan sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil. No need to peel the skin off, as it is edible and tastes good, but you can do so if you prefer! Sprinkle slices with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. salt, and place grill pan on stove. Grill for about 12 minutes, flipping half way through. (Note: you could also cook squash in a frying pan using a similar method, or roast slices at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes … but you’ll miss the pretty grill marks! The truth is that the oven is broken in the Lyons household, so I had to resort to stovetop cooking, but I’m glad I did because it turned out great!)
- While squash is on grill pan, rinse and drain chickpeas, and place in small frying pan sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a shake or two of cayenne on your chickpeas, and keep on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. During the last minute, add walnut pieces to pan. (If you’re using the oven for your squash, you could also toss chickpeas and walnut pieces on a baking pan for about the same time).
- Steam asparagus and chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Meanwhile, whisk together apple cider vinegar, orange juice, maple syrup, and remaining 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. This will serve as your salad dressing.
- Tear spinach into bite-sized pieces and lay in serving bowl. Top spinach with dried cranberries, goat cheese, asparagus, heated chickpeas and walnuts, and grilled delicata squash. Drizzle dressing over salad … and dig in!
If made according to the recipe for 1 (dinner-sized) serving, this dish has 302 calories, 11g fat, 46g carbs, 14g fiber, and 13g protein.
I ate (and loved!) this salad last night as my main meal, but I think that a smaller side-dish portion would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving dinner. I am guessing that this salad would also be a wonderful base for leftover turkey the day after Thanksgiving, when you’ll certainly be craving some veggies and nutrients, or a nice light meal for the day before Thanksgiving when you want something quick and easy to prepare for gathering family. Or, enjoy it any day of the year when you’re craving some delicious Fall flavors!
So tell me in the comments … What (other) dishes are you planning for Thanksgiving Day? Any Thanksgiving recipes you’d like to see health-ified on the blog?