Monday, May 19, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Salad

I'm finally getting around to posting some salad recipes! I have no idea why it's taken me this long especially since I have at least one salad a day so it's not like I don't have plenty of recipes for them. One of my all time favorite salads is with roasted vegetables. It's simple and delicious! I think salads can get pretty boring for most people because they don't switch it up at all. I try to have a different version of my typical lunch salad every day so I don't get bored. An easy and fast way to do that is by incorporating some leftovers from what I had for dinner the night before. I've done it with sweet potatoe fries, lettuce wrap filling, any kind of vegetable dish, spicy chicken, ground turkey, homemade guacamole, tomato basil salad, you name it! The more interesting combinations I can put in a salad, the less likely I'll get bored with eating a salad day after day. In fact, I look forward to my salads for lunch every day. When I don't pack my own, one of my favorite places to go is Hello Bistro because they have so many different combinations and toppings available for your salad. It's a veggie-lover's dream!

Anyway, back to one of my favorite salads: roasted vegetable. I love, love, loveee the way the crispy and roasted vegetables taste in this salad and brings it to a whole new level rather than just having the raw vegetables. Don't get me wrong I love my tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers raw on my salad but roasting them is a treat! My favorite vegetables to use for this salad are brussel sprouts and carrots but I've used other vegetables and it turned out great as well! Some other great options are: zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, radishes (yes, I love them), turnips (again, I love them too), broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, the list goes on.

You can either roast the veggies in the oven or saute them on the stove. If I'm using asparagus, butternut squash, or radishes I usually roast those in the oven because I personally like the taste better that way. The other vegetables cook great on the stove top though!

So first all you do is pick your vegetables for the salad and then chop 'em up. If you're roasting them in the oven usually I'll set it at 425 degrees and then cook the vegetables until they're fork tender. The butternut squash takes the longest at around 20-25 minutes but asparagus should be ready in about 10-12 minutes!
Like I said, sauteing works great too and that's what I decided to use with the vegetables today. I found these great tri-colored carrots that I thought added some nice color to the salad! They came in orange, yellow, and red which I had never seen before but they still tasted great.

To saute them all I did was heat some olive oil in a pan and then season the veggies with salt, pepper, and garlic. 

I love adding chicken to these salads for protein so I cooked some chicken too as the vegetables were roasting. The chicken is not necessary at all so if you want to leave it out this still makes for a great vegetarian recipe!

Even if you don't like vegetables you can't say that isn't one tasty-looking salad! I used a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette as my dressing and it paired great with all the flavors :)

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