Greens with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette!

Happy November! The holidays are upon us, as usual my mind is blown at how fast the year went by. If you are in charge of the salad for this year’s festivities, I’ve got a brilliant one for you: Greens with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

But Before We Get To The Recipe…..I Want To Give You Sneak Peek at the Remodel of Our Sundance Cabin!

Ten years ago we bought a little cabin in the woods of Sundance Utah. It had good bones, but it was…how shall I say…in need of some help. In fact, it was pretty much…orange! The ceiling, the walls, the floor, were all wood and all of that wood was stained a 1970’s orange. And if that weren’t enough, the cabinetry that wasn’t stained orange, was painted black, making a small space feel even smaller.

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

But it was nestled among tall pin trees…

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

 

…and sat on a beautiful stream. So we bought it!

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

We Lived with “The Orange” for Ten Years…

The previous owners lived across the country and basically sold us the cabin as is, with all the furniture, dishes, art, towels, etc.. still there. It was very charming, but felt dark, closed in and was definitely not our style. When my husband retired this last January, we knew we would be spending more time in Sundance to be near our children and grandchildren and decided to make the space our own. And that is when we called Alice Lane Home to help us with the remodel. We live in LA and not only needed the decorating advice but someone dependable to oversee the project and refer us to good contractors and craftsmen.

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

Enter Suzanne…

After talking about what we wanted and needed, Jess, the owner of Alice Lane paired us up with interior designer Suzanne Hall (or the fabulous decor babe, as I like to call her). She was a dream to work with. She took our tiny black and orange cabin and made it light and airy, opened up our dark little kitchen, and created the most beautiful bathroom, all while having to work around some less than desirable existing features, and our budget.

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

So Many Changes, But It Kept That “Sundance” Vibe

Our cabin is an authentic “Lincoln log” cabin, meaning it is constructed of real logs that have notches cut near the ends of each log so they can be stacked at the corners to form rooms. We wanted the ‘modern mountain home’ look without losing any of the original integrity or that magical “Sundance” feel. We LOVE the result and I think you’ll be fascinated to see just what a difference was achieved!

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

The Best part of This Makeover?

Is that Suzanne and the Alice Lane team made sure the cabin remained family friendly. We have a lot of kids and seven grandchildren (so far) that come to play often and have sleepovers, we don’t have to worry about destruction. Noise? Yes. Destruction, no. Every fabric, rug, surface, in the house is sticky little hands friendly! To see the complete remodel and details of the modern mountain look, click here!
Find Alice Lane Home and Alice Lane Interiors on Instagram.

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

Now For The Salad: Greens with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette!

A fabulous salad makes every meal more special, whether it’s dinner for the family or a celebration. And this salad is festive in both color and taste.

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

Simple But Extraordinary!

Color, color, color! Green, orange, purple, white, and and red come together in the most lovely and tasty way.

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

…sweet roasted butternut squash, creamy feta, tart pom seeds, fragrant onion, and salty pecans, all placed on a bed of baby greens…

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

…then drizzled with a homemade, vibrant pink pomegranate vinaigrette! Truly one of my favorite fall salads.

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

 What to Serve It With:

Whether served alone, or as part of a meal, this salad is fabulous. I love it alongside a good steak, or sometimes, I will toss in some rotisserie chicken for a simple, complete meal. But it’s also beautiful served alongside your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. 

Greens with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette! #butternutsquash #salad #glutenfree #pomegranatevinaigrette #sundanceutah

The Recipe: Greens with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette!

Tips and what you need: ovens are notoriously inconsistent, your oven may roast your butternut squash quicker or slower than mine. So keep an eye on it and remove when BNS is soft and edges are browned. Many stores have pre-peeled and cut butternut, make sure it’s super fresh or it won’t roast up well, you also may need to cut it smaller. If peeling and cutting your own squash, click here. You will need a rimmed cookie sheet, parchment paper.

5 from 18 votes
Greens with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette!
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

A festive, delicious, salad for fall and your holiday table!

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes (Store bought is fine but you may have to cut it smaller)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz baby greens
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 of one red onion, peeled and sliced or chopped
  • 3/4 cup roasted salted pecan pieces
  • 1 cup crumbled feta I also love soft goat cheese in this salad
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1 cup pomegrante juice (reduced to 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or white balsamic
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or a few drops liquid stevia if you prefer)
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set oven rack in upper third position. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.

    Place prepared squash on parchment, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper

    Place in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until squash is soft and edges are brown. Time may vary according to oven and altitude.

    While squash cooks, prepare salad dressing:

  2. To reduce pomegranate juice: Place a small pan on high heat and add juice

    Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer
    Allow to simmer until juice measures 1/4 cup. I measure after 15 minutes and every few minutes after that. Just be sure not to forget about it! After it is reduced to a ¼ cup, allow to cool before using.

  3. Place 1/2 cup olive oil into a jar or measuring cup, add lemon juice, honey, vinegar, sea salt, pepper and cooled pomegranate juice, whisk until well combined, set aside

  4. 3. On a platter or large bowl, place lettuce, then add cooled butternut squash, onions, nuts, and feta

    Shake dressing well and the drizzle over salad to liking, toss

    Serve!

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10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes!

Life on Whole 30 can be a wonderfully flavorful experience. But toward the end of that 30 days you may be feeling in need of a little boost to your standard Whole 30 fare. I have 10 Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes that are going to shake up your menu plan in the best way possible!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

Steak Kabobs with Dijon Green Beans from Cook with Me Darling!

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

Whole 30 Easy Steak Fajitas from The Movement Menu!

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

Filipino Skirt Steak by I Heart Unami

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

Argentinian Steak Kabobs with Chimichurri and Grilled Zucchini from me, The Organic Kitchen

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

Grilled Chermoula Marinated Strip Steaks from Garlic and Zest!

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

Seared Steak with Citrus and Avocado Salad from Cook with Me Darling

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

 

Garlic Butter Steak Bites with lemon Zucchini Noodles from Eat Well 101

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

Grilled Steak Fajitas Veggie Bowl from Nutrition to Fit

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

Steak with Chimichurri and Roasted Harissa Sweet Potatoes from me, The Organic Kitchen

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 Asian Sesame Steak Kabobs from Whole Kitchen Sink

10 Incredible Whole 30 Steak Dinner Recipes! #whole30 #paleo #steakdinner #grainfree #dairyfree

 

 

THAT ABOUT SUMS IT UP!

One of my favorite parts about the Whole 30 program is that it turns you into a better cook! I hope you enjoy these recipes and your Whole 30 learning experience ~ Linda Spiker

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Refreshing Limeade with Tasty Variations!

Fresh, sweet, tart Limeade makes me think of summer, pool parties, and outdoor BBQs! If you haven’t had limeade in a while I highly recommend making a batch. So refreshing!
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Homemade Fresh Squeezed Limeade with Natural Sugar Free Option! #limeade #sugarfree #summerdrinks

Sippin’ Together:

Honestly, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of limeade. And this one only has three ingredients. And because it’s hot outside, we skip the step of turning on the cooktop to make a simple syrup by using ‘baker’s sugar’ or ‘castor sugar’. Both are super fine sugars that dissolve quickly in ice cold water so you can enjoy your limeade instantly!

Homemade Fresh Squeezed Limeade with Natural Sugar Free Option! #limeade #sugarfree #summerdrinks

A Natural, No Sugar Option:

And because we are grown ups now, I offer a natural refined sugar free sweetening option. Yup, grown ups need to watch the carbs! In place of sugar I use Lankanto a natural 1:1 sweetening option made with monk fruit!

Homemade Fresh Squeezed Limeade with Natural Sugar Free Option! #limeade #sugarfree #summerdrinks

Adorable girls’ clothes on zulily.com

 

The Recipes: Fresh Squeezed Limeade (with natural sugar free option)

Tips and what you need: it certainly helps to have a citrus juicer! If choosing a sugar free option, I recommend Lankanto a natural 1:1 sweetening option! Of course it never hurts to have a beautiful glass pitcher! 

Traditional Limeade Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Be sure all ingredients are very cold for best results. I offer a traditional sugar sweetened as well as naturally sugar free options.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: kid-friendly recipes, summer recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 7 cups ice water
  • 2 cups cold freshly squeezed lime juice I use this to juice limes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar or low carb natural sweetener of your choice. ( If using sugar, I recommend "baker's" or "castor" sugar. It dissolves quicker! If you choose not to use sugar I recommend Lankanto, see link in blog post) You could also choose to use Stevia powder and sweeten to taste)
  • Variations: add a few springs of fresh mint or freshly grated ginger. To make sparkling limeade use ice cold sparkling water instead of flat!
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in pitcher, stir well. Place in the fridge, stirring occasionally till sugar dissolves.  Serve over ice. (If you don't wait to wait for sugar to dissolve use caster sugar or super fine baker's sugar.)

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How to Make Almond Milk

Have you ever wanted to make something or for that matter do something and you just never seem to get around to it? You put it off and push it back and when you finally do it, it is so much easier than you thought that you wonder what took you so long? I have. I have wanted to make almond milk for years but just kept putting it off. After reading an article about the dangers of the food additive carrageenan I finally got off my duff and did it! Carrageenan is a thickener used in many dairy and non dairy items and seems to be somewhat controversial. And let’s face it…homemade is always better and healthier anyway! Making almond milk is a simple 4 step process… Complete printable recipe below.
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

How to Make Almond Milk

 

Step 1:

Simply soak raw almonds overnight in a bowl or jar with filtered water. Cover the nuts with enough water that there is at least an inch or two of water above the nuts.

IMG_3935 copyrs

 

Step 2~Strain and Blend:

Strain and rinse nuts in a colander. Discard soaking water. Place rinsed nuts into blender with filtered water and blend.

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Step 3: The Nut Milk Bag

Pour blended nuts into the nut milk bag (affiliate link) and squeeze milk into a bowl. That is it! That is how easy it is to make almond milk. Literally it takes minutes.

IMG_3968 copyrswm

 

Don’t waste that pulp!

I give instructions in the recipe below for making almond meal from the pulp left in the nut milk bag. Almond meal can be used in a variety of recipes as a gluten free flour substitute. I use mine to make this Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake or Orange Upside Down Almond Cake.

Step Four: Flavorings!

Almond milk is naturally slightly sweet but If you want to sweeten it up a little more you can add some honey, maple,  stevia drops, or put almond milk back in the blender with a few pitted dates and blend until smooth. My favorite way to flavor almond milk is to add 2-3 dates  and some vanilla paste! (affiliate links) I prefer dates over having my almond milk taste like honey or syrup. But that is just my personal preference!

tok-july2012-502-72dpi

 

So What About Chocolate Almond Milk?

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that chocolate almond milk is a real treat! Simply add your choice of sweetener, vanilla and some unsweetened cocoa powder to your almond milk and you have a rich, creamy chocolate drink!

How to Make Almond Milk

Storage!

The recipe below makes 4 cups of almond milk. Fresh almond milks lasts about four days in the fridge. Now that my husband and I are empty nesters we can’t use that much in four days, but we definitely don’t want to go back to store bought…it’s just not the same! So this is what we do, we keep half of our almond milk in the fridge and pour the other half into covered ice cube trays. Then I can take out one or two cubes for my morning Crio Bru as I need it and he can use the fresh in his smoothies, no spoilage, no waste!

How to Make Almond Milk

The Recipe: Creamy Homemade Almond Milk

Please note that because homemade nut milks have no thickening agents they will separate, so shake well before use. You will need: nut milk bag and a good quality blender. I use a Blendtec and love it. If you have always wanted a Blentec but it wasn’t in the budget, you may wish to consider Blendtec Total Blender Certified Refurbished. If storing in the freezer to avoid waste click to buy covered ice cube trays.

5 from 4 votes
How to Make Almond Milk and Almond Meal
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 
Almond milk is an easy and delicious milk substitute! You can discard the meal or dry it and use it in recipes.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to, kid-friendly recipes, kitchen tips
Servings: 4
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw almonds soaked in water
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 pinch sea salt
Flavoring options:
  • Vanilla paste or extract if making vanilla almond milk
  • stevia drops honey, maple syrup or 2-3 dates for sweetening (optional)
  • unsweetened cocoa powder if making the chocolate version
Instructions
  1. Place raw almonds and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl or large jar, cover with filtered water (enough so that water is at least 2-3 inches above nuts) cover and soak over night.
  2. Discard soaking water and rinse almonds in colander.
  3. Place soaked nuts in a blender add 4 cups filtered water. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour through a milk nut bag in 3rds and squeeze almond milk into a bowl.
  5. Leave plain or add some vanilla paste to taste. Or sweeten with 3 liquid stevia drops, or a teaspoon or two of honey or maple syrup. I prefer using three dates to sweeten my almond milk. To use dates, add milk back to blender with 2-3 soft, pitted dates and blend until smooth. Always double check pits are removed before blending.
Chocolate version:
  1. Add desired amount of fresh sweetened vanilla almond milk back into blender and 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder per cup of almond milk.
  2. * If you would like to make almond meal from left over pulp:
  3. place pulp on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and bake in oven at 170 degrees for about 2 hours (depends on where you live). When meal feels dry to touch remove from oven. Allow to cool, place in blender for a quick pulse to break up chunks.
I hope you enjoy homemade almond milk as much as I do. I use it as a milk substitute and as a base for smoothies. ~ Linda Spiker

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The Caprese Stack Salad

 

Heirloom tomatoes are plentiful right now, but soon won’t be. Don’t fret though, if you don’t have access to colorful heirlooms The Caprese Stack Salad is delicious made with plain old red tomatoes as well! I was lucky enough to have friends with amazing tomato gardens that gave me the beauties you see here.
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price stays the same)

The Caprese Stack Salad #capresesalad #heirloomtomatoes #keto #ketosalad #lowcarb

The Salad:

This salad looks pretty spectacular but it’s as easy to make as dicing and slicing tomatoes and cheese and stacking them up on a bed of baby greens, then drizzling with a traditional balsamic vinaigrette. A favorite for summer in our house because it’s a light meal all by itself, but also makes a perfect side dish to just about any main course! I serve this salad with beef, chicken and pasta!The Caprese Stack Salad #capresesalad #heirloomtomatoes #keto #ketosalad #lowcarb

 

When Slicing Tomatoes…

It’s best to use a serrated knifeSerrated knifes cut through tomatoes easily while a straight edge has a tendency to smash the tomatoes a bit unless it’s freshly sharpened.

The Caprese Stack Salad #capresesalad #heirloomtomatoes #keto #ketosalad #lowcarbHow to “Chiffonade” Basil:

I use plenty of basil in this recipe! I leave some basil leaves whole and the rest I ‘chiffonade’. It sounds fancy but it’s really quite easy to do. Simply stack your leaves, roll them tightly and then slice. So easy even a novice in the kitchen can do it! The Caprese Stack Salad #capresesalad #heirloomtomatoes #keto #ketosalad #lowcarb

The Caprese Stack Salad Recipe

Tips and what you will need: use a serrated knife to cut tomatoes. Learn to chop an onion with no tears video tutorial. I love Maldons flaked sea salt. (affiliate links)

5 from 6 votes
The Caprese Stack Salad
Prep Time
12 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

A delicious stacked Caprese salad served on a bed of greens

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy lunch recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Salad:
  • 1 -5 oz bag baby greens
  • cup basil leaf chiffonade (see instructions above)
  • 12 whole basil leaves
  • 8 oz Mozzarella packed in water, thinly sliced
  • 3 yellow heirloom tomatoes, 2 sliced, 1 diced
  • 3 red heirloom tomatoes, 2 sliced, 1 diced
  • ½ a small red onion, peeled and diced finely
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
Salad Dressing Prep:
  1. Combine ingredients, whisk till blended well blended, set aside. Extra dressing can be saved for two weeks.

Salad Prep:
  1. Slice and dice tomatoes.
  2. Place sliced cheese and tomatoes on a flat dish. Drizzle lightly with balsamic dressing and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Place greens on a platter. Add diced onions, diced tomatoes and chopped basil, toss. Dress with vinaigrette and toss.
  4. Plate salad on individual salad plates and “stack” alternately layers of cheese, yellow tomato, whole basil leaf, cheese, red tomato, basil leaf, cheese…

 

I hope this salad soon becomes a family favorite! ~ Linda Spiker

The Caprese Stack Salad #capresesalad #heirloomtomatoes #keto #ketosalad #lowcarb

 

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