OK! Are we ready to get stoked about the holidays? Cuz they’re coming in hot. And it’s starting to feel like the pressure is on, right?
This year, I’m trying to keep things simple. For stress and sanity’s sake, maybe let’s all take a moment to think about one thing we’re just not feeling that we can ditch and one thing we can add that’s going to make us feel truly lit up and present at this time of year.
For me, one thing I’m dropping is working myself up over finding the “perfect” gift for everyone or bringing the “perfect” dish to a party. I’m going to try to use my intuition on this one and go with my first idea. I feel like this practice in minimizing my decision making fatigue could be the start of a broader in theme in my life. And what better a time to try it out?
As for one positive thing I’m picking up, it’s dedicating myself to a more serious meditation practice. As in, 20 minutes twice a day. Which feels like a lot. But after just a few days of doing it, I’m really starting to notice the effects — especially with better energy levels in the afternoon.
I’m also committing to bringing more delicious vegetable or plant-based dishes to the events I go to. Whether it’s a hostess gift in the form of granola or cookies, or a bright, seasonal salad with familiar but unexpected flavors — like this delicata squash number. I see this salad coming with me to potlucks with friends, as a base for a weekday lunch (just add chickpeas or an egg), and at the holiday table.
Let’s stick together and find more ways to create peace in our lives. Amiright?
Delicata Squash Harvest Salad
A healthy and delicious side salad for a Thanksgiving or holiday meal. If you can’t find delicata, you can make it with any other squash you’d like.
- 1 medium to large delicata squash ,cut in half lengthways, seeds scooped out of the center, and sliced into ½ inch-thick semi-circle pieces
- 1 medium fennel bulb ,trimmed and sliced as thin as possible - I like to do this with a mandoline (green stalks can be reserved for stock)
- Olive or avocado oil
- Salt to taste
- 3-4 ounces arugula
- 1/2 avocado , cut into chunks
- Spiced or plain toasted pepitas*
Honey Mustard Dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2-3 teaspoons honey to taste
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Salt to taste
Heat the oven to 375°F. Oil a baking trays and spread the delicata squash slices out on it. Generously sprinkle with salt.
Place in the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping the squash slices once at the 15 minute mark.
While those are in the oven, make the dressing. Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl or shake them together in a jar with a lid on it, whisking a little with a fork to break up any clumps. Add a little water (one teaspoon at a time) for a thinner texture.
Assemble your salad in a large bowl just before you’re ready to serve.** Toss arugula and shaved fennel with 2-3 spoonfuls of dressing to coat. Add half the squash and toss again. Top the salad with remaining squash, avocado chunks, and spoon on another spoonful or two of dressing, then top with pepitas.
*Find the recipe for Spiced Pepitas here.
**You can make the all the elements up to a day in advance, just don’t assemble or dress the salad until you’re ready to serve.