Monday, June 17, 2013

Recipe: Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic Yogurt Dressing

In honor of June, National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month, I took on a challenge and created a salad recipe using Stonyfield Greek plain yogurt and fresh baby spinach from Earthbound Farm - two products that you'll always find in my fridge. 
My goal was to create a recipe chock full of power foods, and this Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing is indeed chock full of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and protein. It's also super easy to prepare. 
Here are just some of the benefits of the ingredients contained in this salad: 

  • Walnuts are the only nut that contain a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids.  
  • Did you know that there are 23 grams of yogurt in one cup of Stonyfield Greek Yogurt?  
  • Butternut squash provides significant amounts of potassium,  vitamin B6, and folate. A 1-cup serving contains half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C. 
  • Dried Cranberries are a rich source of Vitamin E. I purchased Trader Joes Dried Cranberries fortified with Cranberry Oil, giving an extra boost of antioxidants.
  • Spinach is truly a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins A and K, fiber and flavonoids (phytonutrients with anti-cancer properties)
  • And last but not least, Garlic, nature's natural antibiotic, which some say works well as a natural mosquito repellent

On to the recipe!

Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic Yogurt Dressing
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup Stonyfield plain Greek yogurt
  • 7 cups of Earthbound Farm's organic baby spinach
  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup whole walnuts
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • salt, pepper and white wine vinegar to taste

1. First I roasted the garlic and the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400. For the butternut squash, cut into small cubes, place on a baking tray, and drizzle with oil olive then toss. For the garlic, chop off the top of the bulb, and place on the same baking tray as the butternut squash. Bake for 25 minutes. 
When the garlic is done roasting, you'll be able
to squeeze the caramelized cloves right out of the bulb
2. While the garlic and butternut squash are roasting, prep the salad. In a large bowl, add the Earthbound Farm organic baby spinach. Add the walnuts and the cranberries and toss gently. 
3. Prep the salad dressing: Add the yogurt, a dash of white wine vinegar, and a dash of sea salt and black pepper to the food processor. Squeeze the caramelized cloves of garlic out of the bulb and add to the dressing. Process until smooth. 
4. Add the room temperature butternut squash to the salad mixture and pour the dressing on top. Enjoy as you also reap the benefits of this superfood salad! 
Disclosure: Special thanks to Stonyfield Yogurt for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

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