When Fall is almost here, but the hot Alabama weather still has you craving a salad… Fall salads are the perfect segue from summer to Fall. Lucky for you, local farmer’s markets are full of good things to whip up an amazing salad.
Budget-savvy moms & dads: Buy and cut your own produce and save money and incorporate items into other dishes like using leftover baked sweet potato into mashed sweet potatoes the next day. Or if you had to buy fresh ginger for the dressing, freeze the rest for longer storage and make into a fresh hot ginger tea to curb nighttime cravings.
There’s no shame in using pre-cut potatoes and pomegranate seeds already removed from the fruit – go for it!
Perfectly Fall Sweet Potato Kale Salad
Serve as-is or add grilled chicken or salmon for a meat-friendly meal.
1.5 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 TBS EV Olive Oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup dried cranberries or 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
5 cups of Curly Kale/Spinach/Romaine Mix
1 cup of orange & purple sweet baked potato cubes
½ cup Tri-Colored Quinoa
½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
– Roast the sweet potato: drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
– Roast the pumpkin seeds: drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 350 for 15-20 mins until golden brown.
– While potatoes are roasting, cook and cool quinoa according to package directions.
– Assemble salad mixture, top with quinoa, cubed sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds and cranberries/green apple. Serve with dressing and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Autumn Argula Salad
1 acorn squash Sliced in ½ inch rounds (gut and save seeds to roast)
½ cup pecans chopped (we used honey-cinnamon!)
5 cups baby arugula
Pomegranate (buy a whole pomegranate and de-seed)
1 avocado sliced
1 seedless cucumber sliced
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 Clove Grated garlic
½ Teaspoon Grated fresh ginger
Salt & Pepper to taste
– Drizzle acorn squash and seeds in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a 350 degree oven, bake the Acorn Squash round cuts and acorn squash seeds for 30 mins on the same pan.
– In a large bowl, add arugula, avocado, pomegranate, cucumber, pecans and squash. Drizzle dressing over the salad and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Mix It Up
Keep your salads interesting! Vary Textures using several types of lettuce, a crunchy feature, meaty or thick baked vegetable, grains and a little sweet, like a apple, orange, pear or pomegranate to add more dimension to your salad. Also try adding fresh herbs into your salad mix. Try some dill, mint, or basil into the salad base for an unexpected flavor difference.
You can turn any salad into a Mason jar salad for easy transportation to work or school. Put the dressing in first so it’s on the bottom or place dressing in empty applesauce cup and place on top of jar and use the lid to act as the lid for dressing. Those cups fit most Mason jars!
Layer in the jar: Dressing first, then protein; chicken, turkey, potatoes and grains. Add the nuts, seeds and then finish with the lettuce on top.
Delicious & Nutritious Benefits
A few stand-out health benefits in these salads include:
- Fresh garlic is known for many health benefits and aiding in the common cold and flu. Garlic can even help lower blood pressure if eaten regularly.
- Kale = KALEcium. Believe it or not, Kale is a great source of calcium, especially if you’re lactose-intolerant!
- Ginger has many anti-inflammatory properties and can also soothe and relieve nausea. Utilize your leftover fresh ginger to make a hot ginger tea. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Fresh Ginger Tea
¼ cup fresh or frozen ginger, sliced
Honey to Taste
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Rachel Brown is a foodie by heart and Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator by trade. A mother of two young children, she is always searching for fun and exciting things to eat and create as a family. Rachel moved here from Nashville, TN in 2016 and is enjoying exploring Huntsville and all the exciting things happening here. You can follow her exciting Huntsville foodie finds on her Instagram @RocketCityDietitian or on FaceBook as Rocket City Dietitian.