This time of year the grocery store and farmers’ market are filled with vegetables that mimic the colors of the season and are filled with nutrition! This is a complete nutritional guide to their benefits. It’s a great time to challenge yourself to pick up a few of the squashes or other cold weather veggies that you haven’t tried before and have fun with them in the kitchen! That’s why I created this nutritional guide to fall produce as a guide for choosing and using all of the fruit and veggie superstars of the season! They just might surprise you with their taste and versatility.
Fall produce is everywhere you look at the grocery store, farmers’ market and on Instagram! The cooler temperatures and flavors of the season were the inspiration behind this fall harvest salad with pumpkin vinaigrette that will have you celebrating autumn with every bite!
I did not always know how to roast a pumpkin or cook a squash, so apples were about as seasonal as I got. As time went on (and my love for all things fall grew) I started learning more about the nutritional benefits of seasonal vegetables, which really opened my eyes to all of the possibilities for what you can do with them.
Pair that with my love of pushing the pumpkin envelope and putting it into as many things as possible and the pumpkin vinaigrette for this salad was born! I also shared this vinaigrette idea in my cookbook, The Once Upon a Pumpkin Cookbook that has 50 recipes and 30 hacks for using pumpkin puree in sweet and savory recipes!
This salad combines quinoa, kale, delicata squash, chickpeas, apples, parmesan cheese, and pumpkin seeds in a delicious and easy to make salad inspired by the flavors of the season! I recently contributed to an article in Women’s Health on 6 legit benefits of quinoa, a must read if you haven’t gotten on board this grain train. Technically, quinoa is not a grain at all but rather a seed packing a protein punch that many other grains and seeds do not. Quinoa is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids, something very unique to non-meat sources of protein.
I love it served out of a pumpkin like this because not only is it functional but it doubles as table decor! To me fall entertaining means using pumpkins in as many ways as possible and this is one of those creative ways I can not get enough of!
Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin VinaigretteMaggie Michalczyk, RDN
- 1 pie pumpkin hollowed out for the bowl
- 2 cup kale
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 small delicata squash
- 1 can garbanzo beans aka chickpeas
- 1/2 apple diced
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. grainy mustard
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash the outside of the delicata squash and cut off the two ends.
- Cut the squash into rings, place into a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Toss with pumpkin pie spice and once the squash is done roast on a parchment lined baking sheet for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp. olive oil to kale and massage. Massaging helps to breakdown the fibers and make it more enjoyable to eat!
- Once squash is roasted poke out the seeds and cut pieces in half into half moons.
- Whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine, kale, quinoa, chickpeas, apples, parmesan cheese, pumpkin seeds, and squash. Add vinaigrette and toss together.
- Serve in hollowed out pie pumpkin and enjoy!