Warm Fall Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash, Shrimp and Goat Cheese

Warm Fall Harvest Salad

Last week I came across a picture on my phone and was like “OH MY LANTA. HOW DID I FORGET ABOUT THAT SALAD?!” The thought occurred to me in caps and everything.

I made this salad over and over again last winter and just couldn’t get enough of it. But at some point, squash went out of season and the salad and I had to part ways. It was a tough time for me but I got through it. DSC_0690

I moseyed on about the summer months eating lots of seasonal greens and all was well in the world. But fast-forward to this fall and salads just lost their appeal. Just so cold and NOT comforting, you know? But like, it’s not you – it’s me.

So I was about to hang up the towel and move on to cooked veggies for the winter, but somehow and some way, I came across the phone picture and it’s safe to say that I am back in salad mode.

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Creamy and sweet from the butternut squash, tangy from the goat cheese, buttery from the shrimp and crunchy from the crackers. It’s just a full-on party of flavours and textures. And the vinaigrette is really easy and a wonderful complement (cinnamon in vinaigrette = yessssss)

The best part is that if you already have a batch of butternut squash cooked, the salad comes together in less than 5 minutes.


Warm Fall Harvest Salad {Butternut Squash, Shrimp and Goat Cheese}

  • Servings: 1
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I tend to eye-ball this recipe. So while I provided approximate measurements, feel free to add ingredients to your liking to create a ratio that tastes perfect to you!

For the Salad: 

  • 1 serving greens of choice (spinach works well)
  • 1 – 2 tsp Canola oil
  • 5 – 6 frozen shrimp
  • goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 Tbsp)
  • butternut squash, cubed and roasted* (about 1/2 cup)
  • Mary’s crackers, crushed*
  • vinaigrette (recipe below)

1. Heat a skillet to medium-high and add oil.
2. Run frozen shrimp under cold water for 1-2 minutes, until thawed enough to handle.
3. Peel shrimp and add to hot pan.
4. Cook shrimp, stirring often, until just pink (no more than 2 minutes).
5. Remove from heat and add butternut squash to pan to heat (if cold).
6. Put greens into a bowl and top with shrimp, squash, goat cheese, crackers and vinaigrette.
7. Serve.

Cinnamon Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette for One:

  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • shake of cinnamon

* I simply peeled and cubed a butternut squash and cooked with olive oil, salt and pepper for 25 minutes at 400F, stirring once part-way through.
* Alternatively, you can use the crackers or croutons of your choice

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Well thank you for listening to my little salad life story. Can you tell there’s an exam I should be studying for? ha

If you make it, I hope it rocks your socks off. Be sure to let me know!

What’s your favourite salad combo? 

Summer Shrimp and Black Bean Pasta Bake

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Josh’s grandma made a dish a lot like this one on our last day in Newfoundland and I couldn’t wait to get home and remake it. It packs so much flavour without the heaviness that comes with a lot of casserole-style dishes.

I love the fact that it’s a complete meal on its own; lots of whole grains, produce and protein = no side dishes necessary. It’s super customizable so feel free to change things to your liking; use the veggies you have on hand and opt for your favourite protein sources if black beans and shrimp aren’t calling out to you.

Veggies and Pasta

I like the filling on its own but the breadcrumb topping gets golden and crispy in the oven and is just pretty dreamy. So while it’s the more “indulgent” part of the dish, I don’t recommend leaving it out! And the leftovers are great so don’t fear the big portion even if you’re only serving a few people.

Pasta Bake

Recipe
Serves 6-8
  • 3 cups uncooked pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
  • 2 to 3 cups pre-cooked frozen shrimp
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 medium zucchinis, chopped into half-moons
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers
  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta.
2. In the last minute or so of cooking, add the shrimp to defrost.
3. When the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and shrimp.
4. Meanwhile, get some olive oil heating over medium in a large saucepan.
5. Add garlic, zucchini and bell pepper and sauté until zucchini is translucent; about 10 minutes.
6. To the veggies, add spinach, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, black beans and seasonings and let simmer to thicken on medium for about 10 minutes.
(if you’re really in a rush, you can skip this part; the end result will just be a bit more “soupy”).
7. Add cooked pasta and shrimp and stir well.
8. Put a thin coat of olive oil in a 9 x 13″ baking dish and pour the veggie mixture into it.
9. Combine the breadcrumbs, melted butter and parmesan in a medium bowl and spread evenly on top of the veggie mixture.
10. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350F, until the top is golden.
11. Garnish with parsley and chives if desired and enjoy.

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If you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do!