This delicious, 21 Day Fix approved salad is loaded with fall flavor and would be absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving!
Can a salad taste like a treat and be the thing in your day that you look forward to with ridiculous anticipation? Can it be beautiful and special and extraordinary? Do you feel as though I may be overselling a salad? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that, but I really don’t think so. Seriously, I’ve eaten this salad every day for lunch for the last week and I see no end in sight. Which just isn’t like me. This girl likes variety, diversity, change! I like to switch it up. I also really, really like goat cheese. I may have previously mentioned that here, here, here and/or here.
So here’s my question: Does your family serve a salad on T-Day? My family does, but it’s always just the standard fare: iceberg, tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons with a selection of dressings. We put so much thought into all of the beautiful side dishes that the salad gets overlooked. Every. Single. Year. But, no more! As you may know from my “Thanksgiving: 21 Day Fix Style” post, I’ve been hard at work thinking up tasty new Turkey Day recipes that you can serve up to your family without the side of guilt that would normally accompany them. Anyway, I knew that I wanted to make a salad worthy of a Thanksgiving table. I’m telling you, this is it. Plus it’s SUPER easy. The only thing that really takes any time at all is roasting the butternut squash and even that can easily be done in advance (I would say up to two days). In fact, I think it’s best to do it in advance because you’ll want everything to be nice and cold for serving on the big day.
This is just one of those salads with a winning combination of ingredients. Hearty spinach, roasted butternut squash, sweet pears, pecans, tangy goat cheese, and your new favorite vinaigrette. That Maple-Balsamic vinaigrette is the best thing since wifi. No joke. In fact, it inspired this whole salad. I had a recipe for a Maple-Balsamic Dressing from Betty Crocker, but the original was SO sweet that it just didn’t really work for me. So I tweaked it a bit and now it makes me so darn happy that I do a mental happy dance every time it comes to mind. After I perfected the dressing, I thought about some ingredients that would make it shine, tested it out (many, many times – I had to make sure it was good, ok? You know, for you.) and here we are 🙂
I made this recipe one serving so that it would be Fix-ready for days that aren’t Thanksgiving. (Speaking of which, if you want to add some protein here, chicken is SO good in this!) However, this would be super easy to multiply to feed a crowd. The roasted squash and the dressing already make more than you’ll need (though I would probably make plenty of extra dressing, you know how Aunt Edna likes to pour it on). Anyway, plenty of spinach, sliced pears, some goat cheese and pecans and you’re good to go!
I hope you give this one a try this Thanksgiving and that your family likes it as much as mine does!
If you make this recipe be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making 🙂