I love a big lunch time salad, it fills you up the perfect amount but doesn’t leave you feeling too full and sleepy so you’re good to go for the rest of the day. As the weather gets colder, however, I think it’s nice to warm your salad up a little and make it a little heartier, which is why I added roasted butternut squash cubes and sautéed mushrooms to this dish. The beauty of this salad is that the roasting process really heightens the squash’s original flavour, but it also allows the cubes to absorbs all the deliciousness of the dried rosemary that is sprinkled on it. I sautéed the mushrooms, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds with the same dried rosemary which meant that they really complemented each other perfectly. I cannot tell you how delicious this all tastes together! I was eating the rosemary flavoured nuts and seeds straight out of the baking tray, they were so good! I love the combination of textures here too, the crunchy seeds, zucchini slices and pomegranates against the soft, melt-in-your-mouth squash and mushrooms, while the spinach really pulls the whole thing together.
There’s an awesome mix of goodness here too, the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds will load you up with awesome plant protein, while the squash will give you an awesome dose of fibre and anti-oxidants and the mushrooms give you vitamin D, which is awesome. I could go on forever about the goodness of this plate, it just has such a fantastically diverse mix of nutrition and five wonderful portions of vegetables!
– 1/2 a butternut squash
– 1 plate of spinach
– 1 small zucchini
– 5 chestnut mushrooms
– a dozen cherry tomatoes
– a handful of pine nuts
– a handful of pumpkin seeds
– a handful of pomegranates
– 1 limes
– olive oil
Start by cutting the skin off the squash, then chop it into bite sized cubes. Place these in a 200C oven with 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary, olive oil and salt. Roast for about twenty minutes, until they’re nice and tender.
About 5-8 minutes before the squash is finished add the mushrooms to the baking tray with a drizzle more olive oil and a spinkling of rosemary and salt – before you cook them you’ll need to peel them and sliced them into pieces though.
Just as the mushrooms and squash finish cooking throw the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts into the pan so that they can roast for a few minutes to get crunchy.
While these cook chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters and the zucchini into thin half moons. Then fill your plate with the spinach before adding the tomatoes, zucchini and pomegranates, before sprinkling everything from the baking tray on top. Finally drizzle some olive oil on top, squeeze a lime over it, a then toss and enjoy!