A healthy colorful and festive salad for your holiday table! This roasted winter vegetable salad combines all of my favorite winter veggies and it’s super simple to make.
I do not handle change well. It has taken me a while to come to this realization, but lately I’ve been feeling nostalgic. The holiday season tends to do that.
When I say I don’t handle change well, I mean life changes. I’m not talking about small changes… like rearranging furniture or a new haircut. I welcome those kind of changes. I’m talking about the type of changes that make a big impact on my life… like when I went to college and had to leave the only home I’ve ever known. Sure it was an adjustment, but it took me way longer to adjust than most other people.
Eventually I adjusted. After all, I wasn’t that far away from home, so it’s not like I couldn’t visit. Plus, my family was only a phone call away. The worst part? Leaving my pets. That was a change I just couldn’t adjust to. I cried every single time I had to leave them behind.
My dog, Toby, passed away during my senior year of college. I never felt so far away from home than I did in that moment.
Toby was truly a one-of-a-kind dog. The puppy phase never really wore off for him. I could spend hours telling stories about this dog! Toby was a chewer – and when I say chewer I don’t mean an occasional shoe. I’m talking pillows, blankets, and couches. Yes, he chewed an ottoman completely apart and then a few years later moved onto the couch.
Christmas was Toby’s favorite holiday. I remember waking up on Christmas morning and watching him wiggle with excitement waiting to open his presents. He would rip through the paper and take his new toy in the other room to start chewing. Then, he would return to rip up more paper into little tiny pieces.
Our Christmas tree never had any ornaments along the bottom because he’d take them off and chew them. The first Christmas without him was a tough one. I cried when we decorated the tree seeing all of the ornaments with bite marks. On Christmas morning when he wasn’t there to provide us with laughs, I felt empty. It just wasn’t the same.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because we are living in a world where time goes too fast. Life is too short and we need to make the best of it. Enjoy it all – even the little annoyances. Sure, a chewed up couch may seem like the end of the world at the time, but it’s not.
What did we do? Slapped some duct tape over the massive hole and threw a blanket over it. You can’t help but laugh at that.
Oh, and he chewed that blanket too.
And, if you were wondering, that couch is long gone.
Talking about Toby really tugs at my heartstrings, but it always brings a smile to my face, too. I would have loved to have more time with him, but sadly I did not.
So, whatever you’re doing this holiday season don’t let it pass you by without stopping to appreciate the little things. Take a step back and enjoy the time with your loved ones and don’t stress over the little things.
If you need an easy, last minute side dish you’ll want to try this roasted winter vegetable salad. I think the photos speak for themselves – no more talk is necessary 😉.
- 2 Cups Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 Tablespoons Extra-Light Olive Oil, divided
- Salt & Pepper
- 4 Small-Medium Red Beets, peeled and cubed (wear gloves!)
- 2 Cups Shredded Brussels Sprouts
- 4 Cups Arugula or Spring Mix, or your favorite salad green
- 2 Tablespoons Pomegranate Arils
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 Naval Orange, juiced
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425º.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- On another rimmed baking sheet toss the red beets with the other tablespoon of olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Roast the butternut squash and beets for 15 minutes. Remove the butternut squash and toss in the shredded Brussels sprouts, seasoning with additional salt and pepper. Return the veggies back to the oven and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Remove the butternut squash/Brussels sprouts after the 10 minutes, but leave the beets in for an additional 10 minutes.
- The butternut squash and Brussels sprouts will cook for a total of 25 minutes and the beets for a total of 35. Allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature.
- Toss the vegetables with the arugula and place on a serving platter. Top the salad with the pomegranate arils and walnuts. Serve with the dressing along the side.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing into a small mason jar. Tighten the lid and shake the jar until the dressing is well combined.
- Up to 2 days ahead -
- 1. Complete steps 1-4 of the recipe. Once the vegetables have cooled to room temperature, refrigerate them in an airtight container.
- 2. Make the dressing and refrigerate.
- When ready to serve –
- Allow the vegetables and dressing to come to room temperature and then proceed with the recipe as written.