Has anyone been exhausted lately? Maybe it’s that fact that Winter is truly coming, or perhaps it’s because I haven’t eaten anything green in over a week.
Have you ever taken a moment to think about your past few meals and realized that none of them involved a single nutritious veggie? I’m in that boat right now.
What can I say, it’s the holiday season and veggies are the last thing on my mind. Just because I’m a food/wellness blogger, doesn’t mean my diet is perfect. Sometimes I struggle to eat veggies, especially when it’s cold outside and all I want to do is drink hot chocolate, bake EVERYTHING, followed by belting out Mariah Carey tunes from the bathtub. (I actually used to do this all the time when I was little, so no judgment.)
Today though, I’m bringing a little brightness to your life in the form of a VERY delicious winter salad that’s zippy, sweet, savory and full of texture. Meet the very easy to make roasted butternut squash black lentil salad with juicy grapes, arugula, pecans and a creamy tahini dressing. I know it sounds wild, but TRUST YO GIRL.
I made this recipe a few weeks ago for a Friendsgiving I hosted and everyone commented on how much they loved it. The butternut squash is sweet, paired with earthy lentils, creamy tahini dressing, crunchy pecans and zippy arugula.
Basically it’s a salad dream come true.
Finally, this makes a gorgeous salad for your thanksgiving table.
Simply layer it on a large platter, drizzle with dressing and allow everyone to grab a scoop as you pass it around the table. Here’s to eating more veggies this year! Right?!
I hope you get a chance to try this recipe! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment below and tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram. xo!
More healthy salad recipes to try:
Winter Roasted Butternut Squash Black Lentil Salad with Grapes + Arugula
- For the butternut squash:
- 4-5 cups cubed butternut squash (from about 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash)
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt (plus more, to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- For the lentils:
- ½ cup dry black lentils
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 ½ tablespoons warm water, to thin, plus more if necessary
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- For the salad:
- 6 cups arugula
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- 1 ½ cups red or purple grapes, halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Place cubed butternut squash on baking sheet and drizzle coconut oil mixture on top. Toss to evenly coat the butternut squash with oil and spices. Spread butternut cubes evenly around pan and roast for 25-35 minutes until squash is fork tender.
While your butternut squash is roasting, make your black lentils. Bring water and salt to a boil and stir in lentils. Bring lentils to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until cooked and tender but not falling apart. Drain excess water and rinse cooked lentils with cold water.
Next, make your dressing. In a small bowl mix together tahini, maple syrup, garlic powder, lemon juice, and water. Mix until it resembles a dressing. Add a little more water to thin out for a drizzle, if necessary.
Assemble your salad. Place arugula down on a platter, top with black lentils, roasted butternut squash, sliced grapes and pecans. Drizzle lightly with tahini dressing, then top with pecans. No need to toss together, just serve as is and allow everyone to dig in and serve themselves with salad tongs/servers. Enjoy! Salad can be enjoyed warm or cold. Serves 6-8.
If you can't find black lentils, feel free to use brown or green lentils. Cooking times may vary. Cook according to directions on the package.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen Photography by: Yoga of Cooking