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Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Smoky Maple Balsamic Dressing

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

I’ve been on a mission for the past few years to eat more seasonally and to really try and appreciate the variety that comes with a season change. I’m really going to miss summer berries, BUT I know that fall brings lots of amazing foods too. I let seasonal ingredients be my inspiration in making this delicious full meal salad.

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

This bad boy is a nutritional powerhouse! I added my favorite fall fruit and vegetable (apple and butternut squash) along with quinoa for fiber and protein, dried cranberries for some tartness, and toasted almonds for that warm, nutty flavor (and the added bonus of some healthy fat!). I happen to love blue cheese so I added that too, but you can certainly leave it out for a vegan version of this meal.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Smoky Maple Balsamic Dressing
 
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Serves: 1 full meal salad
Ingredients
Salad
  • 4 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • ⅓ c. roasted butternut squash (I just dice mine in small pieces and roast in a 400 degree oven with a little coconut oil and salt for about 30 minutes)
  • ⅓ c. cooked quinoa
  • ½ apple (I used a jazz apple, use whatever your favorite is!), diced
  • 1 T. dried cranberries
  • 1-2 T. slivered almonds, toasted (a few minutes in a 400 degree oven will do)
  • 1 T. crumbled blue cheese (optional, but delicious!)
Dressing
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • ¼ t. liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Toss together ingredients for salad.
  2. Combine ingredients for dressing in a food processor or blender until it forms a smooth dressing.
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

Allow me a moment to just recognize this dressing. THIS DRESSING, y’all. Perfect balance of sweet and sharp, and the smokiness just takes it over the edge. As a vegetarian I sometimes miss the smoky flavors that a lot of meats have (like bacon!), but I love using liquid smoke occasionally to provide that same amazing flavor. The recipe above makes a bigger batch than you’ll need for one salad. Because you are going to want more. Trust me.

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

This salad would make a great packed lunch because none of these ingredients have a lot of moisture that would make the salad soggy. Pack the dressing in a separate container and you’re good to go!

A full meal salad packed with fall goodness and a sweek, smoky vinaigrette!

I’ll be seeing you again this weekend with a big life update post! It’s been far too long since I talked about what’s been going on with us!

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Lauren Dorsey October 13, 2016, 3:12 pm

    Lauren! Joey and I just saw your picture on Instagram and immediately decided we’re making this for our lunches next week. Looks so good! I so appreciate that you chose seasonal ingredients as well. Hoping to find a good butternut squash at the farmers’ market this weekend. How many servings would you say that dressing recipe makes?
    Lauren Dorsey recently posted…Just a Wednesday NightMy Profile

    • Lauren @ Dash of Soul October 17, 2016, 11:54 pm

      YAY I hope you like it! 😀

    • Lauren @ Dash of Soul October 18, 2016, 12:41 am

      Oh and I finished the dressing in 2 big salads but I’m quite a heavy dresser! :) So it’s probably closer to 4 servings.

  • Pamela October 15, 2016, 12:29 pm

    This looks great!! I plan to make it tomorrow for a dinner I am hosting. My only change will be to leave out the quinoa because I will be serving it more as a starter. Just stumbled across your site, and I definitely plan to explore more of your recipes. Thanks!!

    • Lauren @ Dash of Soul October 18, 2016, 12:39 am

      Fantastic, thanks for visiting Pamela! :)

  • Courtney October 17, 2016, 2:46 pm

    What liquid smoke do you use and where do you get it from? I recently made some corn chowder- the original recipe called for bacon, so I just omitted it to make it a vegetarian meal, and it really could have used that little extra “oomph”. Recommendations on where to buy good liquid smoke?

    • Lauren @ Dash of Soul October 18, 2016, 12:38 am

      Courtney I use Colgin liquid smoke! It can be found at all grocery stores (Kroger, Publix, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, etc.) and it’s awesome!

  • Jackie Garvin October 25, 2016, 7:21 am

    What a beautiful salad. Love the composition of abundant fall produce. Nicely done!
    Jackie Garvin recently posted…Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread FrittersMy Profile

  • Brian Fleming November 11, 2016, 8:17 am

    A delicious and healthy recipe!

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