January 12, 2015

Lauren’s Lovely Salad

Lauren's Lovely Salad | The Naptime Chef

I don’t love the January fad of extreme diets and cleanses, but I do embrace the renewed commitment to healthier eating. I don’t mind giving up sugar and cutting back on gluten. I just don’t like replacing it all with salad. Only salad. Lettuce is delicious, but it doesn’t feel like real sustenance to me. It is not hearty enough and doesn’t fill me up, no matter how much I eat. That is why I am here to give you a new salad recipe that will steer you away from a leafy green-heavy plate but still keep you firmly in the healthy eating category. My friend Lauren made this in December when she had a few friends over for a ladies lunch. She paired it with my most delicious shrimp soup (recipe soon) and it made for a terrific, warm afternoon meal. (Not to mention, her table styling was spot on and her whole house looks like it bounced right off the pages of Domino magazine.)

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I’ve already recreated this gorgeous dish in my kitchen once and am about to again. It is hearty without being overly salad-y. It really feels like a meal and only needs a small bowl of soup, or maybe a little cheese and crackers, on the side to make it into a whole meal. As you’ll see, the ingredients list is all healthy veggies. There is even a beet in there which is amazing to me since I rarely, if ever, eat beets. If you really want to go all out you can just top it with a poached egg. I bet that would taste amazing. Either way, no matter how you round it out, this dish is destined to be a strong dish for your new year resolutions.

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Lauren’s Lovely Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

This salad can easily be tweaked depending on what you like or want to eat that day. Roasting the vegetables is key because it softens and sweetens them. The temperatures in my oven may be a little different than yours so roast until the vegetables are softened, but don't let them burn.

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  • olive oil for roasting
  • 1 small butternut squash, seeds removed, peeled and cubed
  • 2 beets (optional), chopped
  • 1 8-ounce bag shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 head romaine, outer leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup cornbread croutons
  • 2 tablespoons shelled pistachios
  • Dressing:
  • 1 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large pinch kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss the squash and beets with some olive oil and place them in the oven to roast for 30 minutes, turning once at the halfway mark. At 30 minute they should be softened and easy to pierce with a fork. Meanwhile, toss the sprouts and shallots with a little more olive oil in a small bowl. At the 30 minute mark remove the squash tray and sprinkle the sprouts and shallots over the top and spread them so they are in one even layer. Roast for 10 more minutes. The shallots should soften and the sprouts will turn golden, but shouldn't burn. Remove and allow to cool completely.
  2. 2. To a large salad bowl add the romaine, cooled vegetables, avocado, croutons, and pistachio.
  3. 3. Make the dressing by combining everything except the olive oil in a mini-chopper and pulse to mix. Then pour in the olive oil while pulsing in the whole time to emulsify the dressing. Drizzle it over the salad. Toss well and serve.

One Response to “Lauren’s Lovely Salad”

  1. Blog Brandba says:

    Wow, this salad looks delicious. It is colorful and you use a lot of different ingredients. Especially the combination of butternut squash and avocado is interesting. I have to try that soon. Happy Cooking. The Global(sp)iced Team