Warm foods during the cold winter days just makes so much sense. And I don’t just mean temperature but the actual foods and their properties.
When you eat warm foods, they take longer to digest because they are higher in healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates which in turn results in increased body temperature (thermogenesis). Root veggies, fruits such as coconut and apples, and herbs and spices are a few examples of these types of foods.
This Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great combination of many of those warm foods and the fact that it’s filled with flavor, texture, sweet, and spicy makes this that much more of a delicious dish.
This is perfect to make as an entree or a side dish, or serve it up in mini bowls/plates as an appetizer. A small amount will take you a long way as the salad is very filling.
I honestly think this is one of the most nutrient dense recipes I have. Here are a few healthy benefits from this one:
- Rich in Fiber and Protein
- Packed with antioxidants
- Boosts Immune System
- Good source of Vit. C, E, and B6
- Good source of Calcium, Iron, and Folate
- Good source of omega 3 and carotenoids which have anti-inflammatory effects beneficial to all types of arthritis (Butternut Squash)
- Boost in energy level (Lentils)
The list can literally go on about how healthy this salad is, which only adds to the deliciousness of it.
From my kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad.
Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad
- 1 c green lentils
- 1 pound Butternut Squash, cubed
- 1 lb, brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 Avocado, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red apple, thinly sliced
- 1/4 c feta crumbles
- 1 c pomegranate arils
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 c salad topping mix or a combination of pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- 5 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 3 tsp salt, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- For the lentils, bring to boil 4 c water. Add in 1 tsp salt, ginger, onion, turmeric, thyme sprigs, ground coriander, and cinnamon. stir well to combine. Add in the lentils and give it a good stir. Cover and reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 40 minutes.
- When the lentils are cooked, remove branch of thyme, and drain any remaining water. Set aside.
- Line the baking sheet with the squash and brussels sprouts. Drizzle 2 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and paprika. Gently massage through to make sure all the veggies are coated evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallot, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
- To assemble, toss the brussels sprouts and butternut squash with the lentils. Add in the dijon dressing and toss gently.
- Divide evenly in bowls. Top with apples, avocados, salad topping, feta, and pomegranate arils.
- Serve warm!
**Salad topping mix is available in most grocery stores. If you are not able to find any, don't stress. Replace it with 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds and 2 Tbsp craisins.