When your Mom asks you to bring a yummy salad to her big 60th birthday bash, it can’t just be any ol’ salad!
It has to be a delicious, intricate, beautiful salad that takes some time, love, care, and gets the kitchen a little messy! A labor of love of course!
That’s exactly what this salad is. Unlike many of my recipes, it’s not THAT simple … don’t get me wrong, it’s not like baking a 3 teired cake or anything, but there is some time involved.
So worth it though! Wouldn’t you agree? I mean just look at those colors, the depth, the beauty!
I decided to make a salad that would emcompass some of the wonderful flavors of Fall… or ‘Autumn’, if you will!
Although because of logistics I didn’t serve the dressing warm, I think that would be a fantastic addition! It’s great chilled too, but warmed, mmmm… prefection!
So what do we have in this lovely salad?
Roasted beets and sweet potato bring in some heartiness and warmth, then we have chopped apples and pears, some pumpkin seeds, crumbled feta (easily omitted for a vegan version), and dried cranberries, all over a bed of mixed greens!
The dressing is a simple mixture of dijon mustard, olive oil, apple butter (or applesauce could easily be used),pure honey (use maple syrup for strict vegan), and apple cider vinegar!
A full flavor dressing with a little tang and a little sweet!
I poured all ingredients into a little jar and shook it up to emulsify it! (it’s so easy to make your own dressing at home – check out this post where I show you how to do it in 5 easy steps).
Oh yeah, that was my hands after working with the beets…see?? A labor of love!
If anyone knows any methods to avoid beet-hand-syndrome… I’d love to hear about it!! I am a HUGE beet lover, but I honestly must say I sometimes pass them by because the thought of beet-hand-syndrome!
The Autumn Chop Salad went over wonderfully at my Moms party, and it was accompanied by a plethora of other delicious and amazing salads!
Just check out the spread!
I can’t even express how much I love this woman. She’s strong, inspiring, wise, and beautiful all wrapped up into a wonderful package! My sisters and I along with the women at from her book club all pitched in to get her started with a gorgeous pandora bracelet set with a couple charms, symbolizing her inner and outer beauty!
Love you Mom!
And here below was my plate from the party!
(Since the hubby and I are in the midst of our new challenge I had to be cautious with what I ate to stay in my calories and macros – so I brought along some extra roasted sweet potato to have as my carb, measured out my chicken breast, and filled the rest of the plate with some salads! I was pretty proud that I managed to avoid snacking on any of the other goodies on the tables (chips, dips, etc.) and I even passed on the cake! Woo hoo! Success! My strategy was keeping a huge glass of water in my hands at all times, and it worked!)
I actually split up the making of this salad into two days!
I roasted the beets and sweet potatoes on Saturday, then tossed the salad together and mixed up the dressing right before heading to the party on Sunday – so split up that way it didn’t seem like too much work after all!
- For The Salad:
- 8 cups mixed greens lettuce
- ½ cup sweet potato, diced into small cubes
- ½ cup red beets, diced into small cubes
- 1 gala apple, diced into small cubes
- 1 ripe pear, diced into small cubes
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta (omit for vegan)
- For the Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon pure honey (omit for strict vegan or sub for pure maple syrup)
- 2 tablespoons apple butter (or applesauce)
- 1 tablespoon pure apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, and toss the sweet potato and beets on along with some salt to season.
- Roast for 20 minutes or until just browned.
- Set aside to cool completely.
- In a large bowl add mixed greens and layer remaining ingredients, including cooled beets and sweet potatoes.
- In a jar or tupperware container combine all dressing ingredients and shake vigorously for one minute to emulsify dressing.
- Warm dressing or keep at room temperature, or chill, then drizzle over salad.
Have a wonderful day!
Christal // Nutrition in the Kitch