summer squash salad

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Salads! I love salads! Not because they are a “low-calorie” food because most of mine are not “low-calorie” they are just full of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts and sometimes grains. We hope you find the salads on Choppedandtossed.com to be nothing like the salads your probably thinking about ie: soggy watery lettuce, a big chunk of red onion (the kind where your breath smells the rest of the day because of it), and some fatty store bought, generic dressing. We want to re-create the “wish I didn’t have to “start” with this starter salad” and make something creative and most of all, filling! Rob and I decided that if we wrote a salad cookbook each salad would be named after a different friend or family member because they are the ones who inspire us. The summer squash salad is named after no one because it was a total accident. One of those “four o’clock… shoot better get something on the table” salads. And it worked. Beautifully. If I had an avocado I would have added it in and made this a total hit but hopefully you can do that… either way, its delicious.

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Ingredients

organic spring mix lettuce (I added a bit of kale but not necessary)
summer squash, roasted and cut into cubes*
dried cranberries (about 1/3 cup)
diced red onion (1/8 thinly sliced… super important otherwise it dominates in flavor)
toasted almond slivers (about 1/3 cup)
avocado oil (about 1/3 cup)
balsamic vinegar (about 1 tablespoon)
dash of garlic powder
dash of salt
dash of pepper
generous pinch of brown sugar (I like dressings a titch on the sweeter side so I am a bit more generous for our salads, but it definitely comes down to a personal preference)

Instructions

You will notice I did not give specifics for how much, that is on purpose… this should be adapted to your personal needs. If you are serving this as a main meal you might want to consider going a little heavier on the squash and nut side or even add chicken. If you do not prefer your salads to be too sweet use a few less dried cranberries. Really, you can make it yours. I generally always use a lot, like, almost too many “toppings” on my salad. But that is just how Rob and I like it. Play around and find what suits your families needs. Remember, to chop everything to fit the fork and thinly slice the onion… really cant stress that one enough. It makes a difference!

 

*One note on the summer squash or confession, however you want to look at it. I bought mine from whole foods because I was tired and didn’t want to put any effort into it. In their salad section they usually have already roasted (in olive oil with salt and pepper) squash. For about a cup or so it cost a couple dollars. I find it worth it. On less lazy days you can easily grab a bag of already cut but not cooked summer squash from trader joe’s for $2.99 and that is very easy to just cut the bag open across the top, add a little oil, salt & pepper and shake the bag, carefully… and throw that on a pan and roast it that way. Or of course, for those of you who just love getting your hands dirty, you can buy a summer squash, cut it open, bake it, cut it into cubes, then roast again. #notmything

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