I don’t often get “writer’s block”. Usually I sit down to write my posts and things just flow naturally. Sure there’s the odd day where I have to rewrite the first couple of sentences a few times to get the rhythm going, but in general writing posts feels pretty easy-peasy.
The one exception to this is always…the post title. Aghk.
There are many times I hum and haw over my blog post titles trying to figure out how best to sum up what I’m writing about or trying to figure out the best names for my recipes. Sometimes, it’s truly a feat. Like this one. How the heck am I supposed to name this salad when each ingredient is equally outstanding and important?
“Hey everyone, this is my Fresh Blackberry, Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Kale, Crisp Apple & Pumpkin Seed, Chicken Salad with Maple Chia Pumpkin Apple Cider Dressing!”…ummm that would probably be one for the books!
Instead, I settled on The Ultimate Fall Salad.
And this truly is the ultimate Fall salad.
Every ingredient screams Fall (or Autumn, whatever floats your boat) and each component works wonderfully with the next. Not one ingredient is out of place or overpowering.
I came up with this salad when I was trying to figure out what I would do with the leftover roasted sweet potatoes I had made for dinner the other night and it sparked a memory of a bright quinoa salad I saw while perusing Pinterest. The two ingredients, sweet potato and quinoa, sparked the idea for this delicious salad that combines both of these healthy, fibre and vitamin-rich complex carbohydrates.
When I had decided on making a salad with the leftovers I also made it my mission to fill the salad with wonderful, delicious, bright and beautiful fall ingredients. I went to the drawing board and came up with crisp pink lady apples, bright baby kale, juicy blackberries, and pumpkin seeds to compliment the sweet potato and quinoa. I also added in some tomatoes as a token salad ingredient, chicken breast for filling protein, and locally grown radish sprouts for the perfect spicy garnish.
The salad blends the best of healthy carbohydrates, antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats.
For the dressing I whisked together more fall inspired ingredients; apple cider vinegar, pumpkin seed oil (which can easily be swapped for avocado or olive oil), pure maple syrup, and chia seeds. The seeds, when whisked together with the dressing ingredients, slowly begin to gel and create a wonderful consistency to coat the salad.
This salad is definitely a contender to my Autumn Chop Salad and the 500 Salad (NITK’s take!)… I might even have to say this one comes out on top, it’s that good!
What would you add to your “ultimate” fall salad? Tell me about it in the comments below!
- 1 cup cooked chicken thighs or breasts, shredded (prepared ahead of time)
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa (prepared ahead of time)
- ½ cup roasted sweet potatoes (prepared ahead of time, my Honey Caramelized Sweet Potatoes would be great on this salad)
- 3 cups baby kale, chopped
- ½ cup thinly sliced apple
- ½ cup fresh blackberries
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil, avocado oil, or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp minced garlic
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl add all of the salad ingredients and toss to combine.
- Whisk the dressing once more and pour over the salad.
- Toss again to coat ingredients with dressing and divide between two plates.
Be sure to pin the photo below to save this delicious fall recipe for later and of course, share the love!
Have a wonderful Sunday!
The maple pumpkin chia dressing sounds superb! I love the way the colors just pop in each photo. Avocado oil is a favorite of mine in restaurant dishes, but I have never tasted pumpkin seed oil! Wonder how it tastes!
Thanks so much Cassie! Pumpkin seed oil is pretty mild as well but has a nice nutty flavour!
Where can you buy radish sprouts?…..you sound like you bought it at a market or local, but I have never seen them in the store.
Yep, they are local from Reclaim Urban Farms – you can get them at Planet Organic, or Earths General store – that being said you can use ANY kind of sprout! All grocery stores have some variety of them!
Love how many colors, textures, and flavors are in this salad! 🙂
Thanks Brittany! It’s definitely loaded with goodness!
This salad looks and sounds so tasty! I love your food photography and I would totally eat this without the chicken (I’m vegetarian). Yum!
Thanks Natalie! I think it would be just as good without the chicken – you could even do a balsamic grilled tofu!! 🙂 Yum!!
Chia dressing sounds fantastic!
Mmm this sounds and looks wonderful! Blackberries (when paired with the right savoury ingredients) work a treat, and I am sure even if you opt out with the chicken and make it veggie it’ll still be fantastic 😀 So many flavours to keep your palate guessing 🙂 x
Definitely! There’s a lot of adaptations you could make to this salad!
Looks like dinner for this evening! Thanks for the inspiration, Christal! 🙂
Enjoy Deb! 🙂 Hope all is wonderful in your world!