Balancing Act: Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad

While fall is the ideal time of year for comfort food – apple pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing – it’s also the easiest time of year to pack on a few extra pounds. Thanks to the cooler weather, it’s easy to hide what all that pie does to your middle underneath layers and loose sweaters. And though I’m not one to sacrifice my favorite fall foods for vanity’s sake, I don’t want to be cursing those extra helpings of cider donuts come next spring. So in order to get the most of the comforting fall flavors we all love, I look to the many hearty vegetables the autumn harvest has to offer.

This salad with roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts and beets is so satisfying that you won’t feel like you’re missing out at all. Plus, just look at those colors. If that doesn’t look like fall, I don’t know what does. And if anything, eat this salad so you can feel a little less guilty about polishing off that bag of candy corn after.

Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad

makes 4 entrée-sized servings

Ingredients:

1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes

1 lb brussels sprouts, halved

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 cups precooked beets, quartered

1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

16 oz baby spinach (or 2 bags of the pre-washed kind from the grocery store)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Assemble the squash and brussels sprouts on the baking sheet so they’re in one even layer. If the pan is too crowded, use 2 baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss the veggies so they’re evenly coated in oil. Roast in the oven about 30 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned. Allow the veggies to cool slightly.

3. Top the spinach with beets, gorgonzola, walnuts and roasted veggies. I don’t use any extra dressing for this, because I find the beets and roasted veggies help moisten the spinach, but if you want to drizzle with some extra olive oil, more power to ya.

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