Oh fall, how I love you. Fall in Ohio is just the best. Cool mornings, sunny days, a crisp evening breeze, watching the leaves change from deep green to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges, and the smell of smoky burning wood drifting in the air...these are the days we live for. We hold on tight and we love it hard. Winter in Ohio can be a bit of a drag. Once the holidays are over, we see a lot of cold, gray days. But not fall. Fall is simply the best.
Side note: I have a loaf of the yummiest banana bread in the oven right now and my whole house smells like magic. I posted the recipe 2 years ago (btw...where does time go?!?!?) and if you haven't made it yet, DO IT. I want to bottle the scent of this bread and spray it wherever I go. There is something about fresh bread in the oven that just makes things feel extra cozy.
Also, can you tell I was running out of light to take these photos? Imagine me standing on a chair over my white board trying to reflect light with another white board as much as possible, holding my breath (I do that often when I take pictures), feverishly snapping pics before the sun goes down. Shambles. Long days with lots of sunlight is definitely something I miss already.
Another reason I love fall is because of all the delicious in-season produce. Heeellllloooo squash! Fall brings us those hearty root veggies, which happen to be some of my favorite foods. I could live on squash.
Squash is the star of this salad. Not only are they beautiful and tasty, they are also incredibly nourishing. The impressive health benefits of squash are derived from the organic compounds, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they contain. Squash is incredibly high in vitamin A (good for your immune system, skin, and vision), as well as a significant source of vitamin C, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Squash also contains minerals such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, calcium, and iron. They are also an excellent source of carotenoids and other important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
In this recipe I used one of my favorite squash - delicata! The cool thing about delicata squash is that you can eat the skin! That means it's suuuuper easy to prepare. Wash, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds with a spoon, and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Game changer.
I've been focusing a lot on squash, but let's not forget about the other ingredients. Brussels sprouts, beets, red onion (and squash) = the most colorful, delicious, and nutrient-dense combo! This veggie combo is slightly sweet (roasting veggies brings out their natural sweetness), satisfying, autumnal, and simply delicious. Served over greens and topped with a simple creamy avocado dressing creates a beautiful side to any meal, or even light main meal. We added black beans and enjoyed this salad as a main meal this week. Delish!
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we did :)
Happy veggie roasting and happy fall, friends!
Autumn Roasted Veggie Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing (V + GF)
For the salad:
- 2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2-3 small beets, peeled and diced
- 2-3 cups brussels sprouts, ends removed, cut in half
- 1 red onion, sliced into half rings
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4 cups fresh mixed greens
For the dressing:
- 1 avocado
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of 1/2 large lemon
- 2-3 Tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F).
- Add sliced squash, brussels sprouts, and red onion in a large bowl. Gently toss with olive oil and spices, then add to a bare baking sheet.
- After transferring the veggies to the baking pan, toss the beets in the same large bowl with the leftover oil and spices. Transfer beets to the same baking sheet. *Tossing separately will prevent the other veggies from becoming red from the beets.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. You’ll know the veggies are done when fork tender, golden brown, and slightly caramelized.
- While squash is baking, prepare dressing by adding avocado, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper to a small blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- To serve, top fresh greens with roasted veggies and drizzle with dressing. Best when enjoyed immediately.
*Feel free to add beans or lentils to this salad to make it a more complete meal.