This Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Goddess Dressing celebrates the bounty of the season in a beautiful combination of tastes and textures. From crunchy toasted pecans to tender roasted acorn squash, crisp juicy apples to tart dried cranberries, it’s a healthy Thanksgiving side dish that won’t weigh you down!
Hi, friends! I’m so excited to share today’s recipe with you and to introduce you to a fun new partnership that I’ll be working on over the next few months: Kohl’s #MakeYourMove campaign!
Kohl’s shares so many of my core beliefs that permeate the posts on this blog. The goal of the Make Your Move program is to show Americans that living well and feeling good can be easy and fun. Getting healthy doesn’t have to be about deprivation or punishment. Instead, let’s lead a balanced and healthier life by doing the things that energize, enliven, and motivate us! We can celebrate delicious foods, find physical activities that bring us joy, and learn to focus more on the important people and moments in our lives. Sounds pretty darn good, doesn’t it?!
My job in the coming months will be to show you that living well doesn’t just sound good — it’s actually possible! I’m planning manageable workouts that you can do at home, a fun shopping guide for all of the healthy women in your life, and plenty of delicious and nutritious recipes to see you through the season…starting with this salad!
I wanted to create a lighter, more vibrant option for your holiday table, which pairs perfectly with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and any of your other Thanksgiving favorites. And who wouldn’t want these fresh, seasonal ingredients on a festive table?! They are the quintessential autumn flavors!
If you’re serving this colorful salad for a special occasion, then you’ll also want to make sure that you have some beautiful dishes to highlight its rustic and natural beauty! I absolutely love the look and quality of the plates (from Food Network’s “Fontinella” line of dishes) and the giant wooden Salad serving bowl that you see here. I picked them up at my local Kohl’s store, but you can also find them online. What I love most, though, is that these versatile pieces are nice enough to use on a holiday table, but they are also equally appropriate for a weeknight family supper. They are timeless products that I can use and enjoy year-round!
And anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I have a major love affair with protein shakes and smoothies, which I always make in my Nutribullet. What you might not know, though, is that my beloved Nutribullet is also great for making salad dressings. It’s the perfect size when you don’t want to haul out a giant blender, and it emulsifies your ingredients for a smooth and creamy consistency in a matter of seconds.
This creamy and healthy Greek yogurt-based pumpkin salad dressing is really just a fun twist on my favorite Green Goddess Dressing, which is a time-tested and well-loved recipe that was passed down to me from my mother-in-law’s friend. It’s a must-try!
So toss together some of autumn’s tastiest ingredients in a beautiful and delicious salad that is perfectly “fit” for the holidays! It’s a delicious way to enjoy this special time of year celebrating with family and friends, focusing on what’s important in our lives, and nourishing our body and soul!
But don’t worry — you don’t have to wait until November 26 to enjoy the goodness! This salad is also a great side dish with a warm bowl of roasted butternut squash soup, or you can add some chicken on top for a light and satisfying main course. No matter when (or how) you serve it, this Fall Harvest Salad will soon become a family favorite, and it’s a great way to get started as you #MakeYourMove!
- For the Pumpkin Goddess Dressing:
- 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ cup sour cream or plain Greek-style yogurt
- ⅓ cup pure pumpkin puree (I used the canned version)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or about ¼ - ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- For the Salad:
- 1 acorn squash, plus olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt for roasting*
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- ½ cup toasted pecans
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1 pkg. (5-6 ounces) mixed salad greens (you can use any blend that you prefer, but I like a mix that includes broccoli slaw, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and chicory)
- For the dressing: Place all ingredients in a blender and combine. Chill until ready to use.
- To roast the acorn squash: preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- Slice squash lengthwise, remove seeds, and slice horizontally into ½-inch thick rounds. Place sliced squash in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and salt, to taste. Toss squash to coat.
- Bake squash at 400 degree F for approximately 20 minutes (or until tender and caramelized), flipping halfway through.
- Once the squash has cooled, cut it into bite-sized pieces and place it in a large salad bowl with the remaining ingredients. Add Pumpkin Goddess dressing and toss gently. Serve immediately.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: How will YOU #MakeYourMove this season? Will you try out some new healthy and delicious recipes? Squeeze in an extra workout each week? Or maybe curl up in bed a little bit earlier each night so that you’re getting adequate rest to conquer the holidays with your BEST self?! Let me know your plans, share your progress on social media with the hashtag #MakeYourMove, and please continue to follow along as I bring you even more inspiration in the coming months!
Looking for other delicious seasonal sides? Try these favorites:
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.