Rustic Fall Salads

The change of seasons is a great time to update your diet and try out new and flavorful combinations. As the temperature subsides, harvest time and autumnal changes bring fresh and wholesome food choices to the table. Enjoying salads during the fall season is still possible by incorporating some new textures, flavors, and ingredients. Enjoy warm salad dressings, grilled vegetables, and wholesome nuts and seeds to ‘pep’ up your salads anytime! Salads can provide vital vegetables, minerals, and nutrients for a heart-healthy diet. They are a great meal option for lunch, dinner, or as a side dish. September and October bring forward tasty vegetables including squash, zucchini, pumpkin, yams, and potatoes. Or, try a vibrant fruit and cheese plate drizzled with a tart dressing for a light snack or lunch. Get creative this fall season with these flavorful and nourishing recipes!

Warm Spinach Salad with Squash and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
This tasty and colorful salad appeals to all senses! Enjoy grilled yellow squash tossed with fresh spinach, and drizzled with a warm honey-mustard dressing for a flavorful punch on a cold day.

1 pound baby spinach leaves, rinsed
1 container sun-dried tomatoes
2-3 medium yellow squash
�½ red onion, peeled and diced
Honey-mustard dressing of choice
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice yellow squash and grill on an indoor grill, or broil for 5 minutes in the oven on high. Place spinach leaves in bowl, and mix well with sun-dried tomatoes. Add �½ red onion. Toss with salt and pepper, and set aside. Mix in pieces of grilled squash, and set on plate. Heat honey-mustard dressing in microwave for 30-40 seconds on medium; drizzle on salad, and enjoy!

Fall Fruit & Cheese Bowl

This recipe works very well as a plate for appetizers or to serve for guests. As a snack or salad, enjoy the variety of crunchy and ripe seasonal ingredients. Toast the walnuts ahead of time for some added flavor; also use fresh cranberries if you enjoy a ‘tart’ taste!

1 fresh pear, sliced
1 fresh peach, sliced
1 large green apple, sliced
�½ cup chopped walnuts
�½ cup bleu cheese, crumbled
�½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
�½ cup Craisins
�¼ cup raisins

Combine all ingredients in bowl, and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. Add lemon juice to the mixture to prevent fruit from browning, if needed.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad
Pumpkins aren’t just for pie! This nourishing salad combines fresh pumpkin cooked to perfection with some classic Italian ingredients for a fresh take on a healthy-but-hearty meal.

2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 can pitted black olives
8 0z. crumbled feta cheese
4 oz. marinated artichoke hearts (drained)
3 cups romaine or endive lettuce
�¼ cup toasted sesame seeds or walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Place cubed pumpkins on a non-stick baking tray, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook at 300 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until pumpkin turns soft and is slightly golden.

Combine lettuce, olives, and feta cheese in large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and mix thoroughly. Add cubed pumpkin, artichoke, and finish with toasted sesame seeds or walnuts for flavor. If you do need some dressing, try a light balasamic vinaigrette or red wine vinegar.

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