Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

With Vegan Feta

This simple, healthy, delicious roasted beet and walnut salad makes for a fantastic holiday side dish. All you need is 1 dish, 4 ingredients, and 45 minutes. Loaded with nutritious beets and walnuts, fresh parsley, and tangy vegan feta, make this vibrant salad a part of your Thanksgiving table this year.

Roasted beet and walnut salad with feta and fresh parsley on a white plate with a bowl on walnuts and a wooden spoon.

Why I Love Beets

I love beets. I love their versatility. Their texture. The slight sweetness they have when they’re roasted. And in this salad the earthy and crunchy walnuts, salty and creamy feta, bright and fresh parsley work beautifully with roasted beets.

Thanksgiving Side

I also love Thanksgiving. And let me tell you, this dish is going to be perfect on your Thanksgiving table. It’s so incredibly easy to make and it will only take up about 30 minutes of that precious oven time you have allotted for the day.

Roasted beet and walnut salad with feta and fresh parsley on a white plate with a bowl on walnuts and a wooden spoon.

Preparation

I also love dishes that require virtually no preparation. (Are you sensing a theme here?) The prep time on my roasted beet and walnut salad is about 5-10 minutes. But if that is even too much to commit to on Thanksgiving morning, you can totally peel, dice, and bake your beets the day before. Just re-heat them gently in the microwave or a low-temperature oven and add the remaining ingredients before serving.

Make It A Meal

If you are finding this recipe any other time of the year other than November (or December), consider turning this dish into a meal. It’s so quick and simple that you could definitely throw it together on a busy weeknight. Or even make it over the weekend and have it prepped for weekday lunches.

Turn it into a meal by pairing it with pasta. Dice the beets into smaller bite-sized cubes and decrease the roasting time. When finished toss with your favorite pasta shape and some olive oil as well as the walnuts, vegan feta, and fresh parsley. You could also add garbanzo beans either while the beets are roasting or after they’ve been roasted.

I would love to hear what you think of this simple roasted beet and walnut salad. Let me know if you use it as a side at a holiday meal or for a quick weeknight meal.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Beets- folate, manganese

Parsley- vitamin C, iodine, iron, phytoestrogenetic properties (cancer-preventing properties)

Walnuts- Omega-3s, thaimine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

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Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

This simple, healthy, delicious roasted beet and walnut salad makes for a fantastic holiday side dish. All you need is 1 dish, 4 ingredients, and 45 minutes. Loaded with nutritious beets and walnuts, fresh parsley, and tangy vegan feta, make this vibrant salad a part of your Thanksgiving table this year.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: beet, easy, gluten-free, healthy, holiday sides, light, parsley, quick, salad, vegan, vegan feta, walnuts
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 6 whole beets, peeled cubed
  • ¼ cup walnuts use more or less depending on preference
  • ¼ cup vegan feta, crumbled* use more or less depending on preference
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped use more or less depending on preference

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel and dice beets and place in an 9×13 baking dish. Roast beets for 30-40 minutes stirring half way. Beets are finished cooking when they are tender and slightly crispy on the outside.
  • Add walnut pieces, crumbled feta, and chopped parsley to beets.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

I use this recipe from Erin Ireland for the vegan feta. It’s absolutely amazing and so simple that there’s no way I could improve it.
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Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash

with caramelized onions

This roasted apple and butternut squash side is vegan, gluten-free, and has an oil-free option. Topped with caramelized onions, it’s a sweet and creamy dish that’s a perfect make-ahead side for the holidays. It requires fewer than 10 ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep. All the best of autumn in a comforting side.

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate, rosemary, and butternut squash in the background.

With the holiday season quickly approaching I have begun planning my Thanksgiving menu. Anyone else? Ok, I guess that perhaps it is a tad early. But just in case you’re a planner like I am here is a recipe that I would highly recommend considering as a side for the big day. It’s simple. It’s quick. And it can be prepared ahead of time. Oh, and it’s totally delicious. What more could you want out of a holiday side dish?

Roasted apple and butternut squash

Preparing a butternut squash for roasting can be intimidating if you’ve never skinned one before. But let me reassure you, that it actually is quite simple. First, using a fork, poke holes all over your squash. And I mean ALL OVER IT. I usually jab mine about 30 times. Next place it in your microwave for 3-5 minutes depending on the strength (wattage) of your microwave. Turn it over and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. It should be soft but not mushy or burned. Allow it to cool completely before handling. Finally, using a knife, or better yet a potato peeler, remove the skin from your squash. Cut it in half, remove the seeds, and cut into bit-sized cubes.

As for the apple…I recommend using a hearty apple for this recipe. I used a Fuji apple because they’re sturdy and sweet. A Sweet Tango would probably work too. If you would prefer a tart apple you could use a Honeycrisp or a Granny Smith. Once you’ve chosen your perfect apple, simply core, peel, and cut into bit-sized pieces. Make sure that both the apples and butternut squash pieces are similar in size so that they cook evenly.

Spray the apple and butternut squash with avocado oil and top with spices and herbs. Toss to coat and spread evenly on a prepared rimmed baking sheet. Bake them for roughly 30 minutes until they are fragrant, soft, and slightly browned around the edges. Perfection!

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate, rosemary, and butternut squash in the background.
Caramelized onions

While the apples and butternut squash are roasting, prepare the caramelized onions. Begin my dicing or thinly slicing the yellow onions. You can even slice some while dicing the others just to add more visual interest and texture to your dish.

Heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tbsp of avocado oil. Once the oil is hot add the onions and reduce heat to medium-high. Now, the trick to perfectly caramelizing onions is TIME. You have to be patient. But trust me, your patience will pay off.

The onions will go from white, to clear, to brown, to caramelized. As they cook you will need to add water to the pan, a little at a time. Do not add more water to the pan until all the other liquid has cooked off.

Stir the onions occasionally. This gives them time to brown on the pan.

Resist the urge to pull the onions off the heat early. They are not done when they’re brown. They’re done when they are a deep, dark brown, caramelized color. You will know they’re done when they smell sweet.

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate surrounded by rosemary and a blue napkin.

Suggested Pairings

This side would be excellent served with a vegan meat alternative such as “ham” or “turkey”. To fancy up this side even more top it with toasted walnuts for added crunch, pomegranate arils for tartness, or drizzle with a cashew cream sauce for creaminess.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Apple-vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber

Cinnamon- manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber

Onion-antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Rosemary- polyphenolic compounds

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Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash

This roasted apple and butternut squash side is vegan, gluten-free, and has an oil-free option. Topped with caramelized onions, it's a sweet and creamy dish that's a perfect make-ahead side for the holidays. It requires fewer than 10 ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Baked Apple and Butternut Squash

  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 apple, peeled, cubed I used fuji
  • avocado spray omit if oil-free
  • ½ tsp sage
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stem

Caramalized Onions

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil sub water if oil-free
  • 4-5 medium yellow onions, diced or thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cold water*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly spread cubed apples and butternut squash and spray with avocado oil (omit if oil-free). Sprinkle with sage, cinnamin, and rosemary and evenly spread over baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way.
  • While apples and squash are baking, heat a large pan over high heat. Add avocado oil. When oil is hot, add diced or thinly sliced onions and stir to coat. Lower heat to medium-high and cook onions for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally*.
  • Assemble roasted apples and butternut squash on a plater and top with caramelized onions. Additionally, top wtih walnuts for crunch, pomegranate arils for tartness, or raisins for sweetness.

Notes

*Add cold water occasionally, 1 tbsp at a time, to onions to prevent sticking and to de-glaze the pan.  Allow water to completely cook off before adding more water.  Be patient with this process.  The onions will go from white, to clear, to brown, to caramelized.  
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Vegan Naan

If you’ve been searching for the perfect vegan naan, look no further than this recipe! All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.

Vegan naan wrapped in a blue towel on a rusted cookie sheet surrounded by basil and cherry tomatoes.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you right now: I’m afraid of yeast. Irrational fear? Perhaps. But it’s taken me YEARS to work up the courage to prepare breads that require yeast. I had a bad experience with cinnamon raisin dough and a bread maker back in my teens and I think I’m still trying to recover. Anyway, I digress…I still have difficulties with yeast dough at times. Thankfully, as with many other skills, practice makes perfect. And boy have I been practicing this fall!

The perfect vegan naan recipe has eluded me for almost a year. I struggled to find a recipe that didn’t require crazy flours which would leave the dough to stick to the pan and not rise properly. But I finally found the PERFECT naan recipe that I have veganized from the amazing Half Baked Harvest version. Let me take just a second to explain some important steps in this naan-making process.

Water & Yeast

Two things about working with yeast…First make sure that it hasn’t passed it’s expiration date. Expired yeast will prevent your bread from rising. Secondly, as with any recipe that requires yeast, you’re going to have to “activate” or “bloom” it with water and sugar. It’s very important to remember that your water should be about 110*F. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast and your bread will fail to rise.

Pan & Oil

Once your dough has risen and is pillowy soft and ready for cooking you need to make sure that you use the proper pan to fry it. You will definitely need a heavy cast iron skillet as well as a large lid. Once your pan is screaming hot add about a tsp of avocado oil to the pan. You might be tempted to use olive oil. DON’T! Avocado oil has a smoke point of 520*F, which is 50-150*F hotter than olive oil. What does that mean? It means that avocado oil will not begin to burn until it reaches a temperature of 520*F. In turn, you can heat this oil much, much hotter without setting off your smoke detectors. Trust me, use the avocado oil.

So now that I’ve concurred naan, I’ll have to try my hands at Challah bread (but that’s going to have to wait for now…).

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Almonds: protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron

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Potato, Spinach, and Chickpea Curry

Vegan Naan

All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rise Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Bread, Indian, Vegan
Keyword: Indian, naan, vegan
Servings: 8 naan
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¾ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup plant-based milk
  • 1 cup almond yogurt I prefer Kite Hill's plain, unsweetened almondmilk yogurt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4-8 tbsp melted butter depending on how buttery you want the naan

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm (but not hot) water, yeast, and maple syrup. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly.
  • Add plant-based milk, almond yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a dough hook, mix until the flour is evenly incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
  • Lightly flour you workspace and gently knead the dough into a large ball. Return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 hour* until the dough has doubled in size.
  • When ready to cook, cut dough evenly into 8 and form each into a small ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball into an oval/rectangle shape that's about ¼ inch thick.
  • Brush each side of the naan dough with melted vegan butter. Lightly brush a VERY HOT cast iron skillet with avocado oil** and place in one piece of naan dough cooking over medium-high heat. Immediately cover with a large lid cooking for 1-2 minutes as bubbles form. Flip and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Keep cooked naan warm by placing in a clean kitchen towel while you work with the remaining dough.
  • Serve with more melted butter and a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a bowl of curry.

Notes

*I have found that the perfect place to let any yeast-y dough rise is in my oven with the oven light on.  
**Avocado oil has a higher smoke-point that most oils, meaning it will withstand the heat of the pan better than an olive oil will.  Plus it has a neutral flavor which won’t deter from the naan.

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest’s Herbed Garlic Butter Naan.

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Roasted Green Vegetables with Vegan Walnut Pesto

Roasted green vegetables get dressed up with a vegan walnut pesto. Five ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to make this healthy and satisfying side dish.

Roasted green vegetables (asparagus, Brussel's sprouts, and zucchini spirals) on a wooden platter and to a bowl of vegan walnut pesto.

If you don’t think you like asparagus or Brussel’s sprouts you have to give this roasted green vegetables with vegan walnut pesto a try. Don’t write these veggies off completely, ok. I guarantee that the key to enjoying these vegetables is properly prepping and roasting them. Allow me to share a few tips for selecting, preparing and serving each of these vegetables.

Asparagus

When selecting asparagus it’s important to remember that you want thin, sturdy stalks. The thicker the stalk, the tougher and more bitter it will be. Not exactly the most desirable, right? After rinsing, snap the asparagus to remove the tougher bottom of the stalk. This part of the vegetable isn’t something you’ll want to eat. Lastly, cut the edible portion of the asparagus in half and it’s ready to roast in this dish.

Brussel’s sprouts

As far as Brussel’s sprouts go…I’ve been there. I know that they can seem very un-appealing at times. But just like the asparagus, there’s a trick to making them delicious. I’m convinced that the best way to serve Brussel’s sprouts is shaved. They cook quickly, get a nice crispy texture, and transform into something overwhelmingly amazing.

Zucchini

I don’t think its any secret that zucchini is super versatile. In this recipe I decided to add texture and interest to the dish by using spiralized zucchini. You can either buy the zucchini spiralized or do it yourself. I like making it myself to cut down on plastic and ensure freshness. This is the spiralizer I use. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.

Roasted green vegetables (asparagus, Brussel's sprouts, and zucchini spirals) on a wooden platter being set on a table next to a bowl of vegan walnut pesto.

Once you’ve decided to make this side dish (and believe me, you really should make it), it’s going to pair nicely with marinated tofu or a lentil loaf. Throw pasta in the mix for a unique take on a warm pasta salad. Or add beans or lentils to take this dish from the sidelines to the main attraction.

Share with me how you would use this dish to up you vegetable game.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Asparagus: Folic acid, vitamin C, thiamine, B6, glutathione, protodioscin

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Roasted Green Vegetables with Vegan Walnut Pesto

Roasted green vegetables get dressed up with a vegan walnut pesto. Five ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to make this healthy and satisfying side dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: asparagus, brussels sprouts, side, vegan, zucchini
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini, spiralized or cut into half moons
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends removed and trimmed
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, shaved or cut in half
  • olive oil spray
  • ½ batch vegan walnut pesto *see notes*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Coat vegetables with olive oil cooking spray and toss.
  • Roast vegetables for 30 minutes stirring half way though to ensure even cooking.
  • Add Vegan Walnut Pesto to warm vegetables and serve.

Notes

*Check out my Vegan Walnut Pesto or sub your favorite homemade/store bought pesto
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Warm Autumn Vegetable Salad

With Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

Warm autumn vegetable salad drizzled with pumpkin tahini dressing. All you need are two sheet pans and a bowl for this amazingly satisfying lunch. Vegan, gluten-free with nut- and oil-free options this salad makes a fantastic side or meal and works great for meal prepping.

Warm winter vegetable salad on a bed of butter lettuce with purple and yellow flowers and a bowl of fresh cranberries.

Warm Autumn Vegetables

Ok, this has got to be why I love fall so much. There’s nothing like prepping a bunch of vegetables, seasoning them in some well-thought-out spices, tossing them in the oven, and enjoying the aroma that fills my house while they roast. This, to me, is what the autumn months are all about. So let’s discuss these vegetables a little bit shall we?

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are just amazing! They’re so versatile (baked, boiled, steamed, mashed…you know the different ways to prepare a potato!) and they really are very sweet. In this dish I remove the skins but if you would prefer the extra fiber (there’s already a lot of it in this salad) feel free to keep it on. It’ll give the sweet potato a nice crunchy, caramelized texture.

Multi-colored carrots

I love the additional colors from the multicolored carrot variety. You can totally use regular ol’ orange carrots if you cannot find the multis, it’s no big deal. Just remember that you want to eat the rainbow. The greater the color variety in your food, the more nutrients you’re consuming.

Delicata Squash

The delicata squash is by far my FAVORITE squash. Ever. I think I love it so much because you can eat the skin! Less prep time means more time enjoy the cool autumn days outside with my family and less time making meals. Plus, who doesn’t love the cute little half moon shapes of a delicata squash? Pro tip: save the seeds of your delicata squash and use them in this recipe for chili roasted squash seeds. Also, did you know that you can save the pulp (or scooped out portion) of the squash and put it to go use here.

Parsnips

And let’s not forget the parsnips! Now these are the secret star of the show. They are actually really sweet and are amazing when roasted. They’re also fantastic in soups and stews. Be on the lookout for more parsnips recipes from me as the season rolls into autumn, but for now, let’s just appreciate them in this delicious little salad.

Warm winter vegetable salad on a bed of butter lettuce with purple and yellow flowers, pumpkin tahini dressing, and a bowl of fresh cranberries.

Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

I love making my own dressings. Nothing beats the convenience of store bought but I also like to be in control of the amount and type of fats and sugars that are in my dressings. And most store-bought dressings contain gums. Ew. So let’s whip up this fun fall dressing together ok? It’s thick, lightly pumpkin-y, nut-free, and oil-free.

Toppings

This is where you get get to be creative. The salad toppings I have listened down in the recipe are just recommendations and ideas. Use what you have and whatever is in season. I recommend a nut or seed, something creamy such as avocado or vegan cheese, and a lightly sweet fruit such as figs or pomegranates. These additional flavors and textures aren’t required of course. The salad is fantastic as is. But adding these topping will create a more intricate flavor profile and visual appeal. Go crazy!

Meal Prep

Finally, did I mention that this salad is perfect for meal prepping? Move over boring salads and bland sandwiches…prepare this on Sunday instead to get you through the upcoming work week. Store the vegetables, salad, and salad dressing separately in your fridge and assemble everything the evening before. Super simple, flavorful, satisfying, (insert more wonderfully descriptive adjectives here). You get the idea. This warm autumn vegetable salad with pumpkin tahini dressing is a packed lunch that will definitely keep you going long into the afternoon.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Carrots-vitamin A, fiber, manganese, niacin, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C

Cranberries-vitamin C, fiber, phytonutrients

Garlic-phytochemicals

Pumpkin- fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A

Sweet potatoes-vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, fiber

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Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

Warm winter vegetable salad drizzled with pumpkin tahini dressing. All you need are two sheet pans and a bowl for this amazingly satisfying lunch. Vegan, gluten-free with nut- and oil-free options this salad makes a fantastic side or meal and works great for meal prepping.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Assembly5 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: easy, gluten-free, meal prep, nut-free, oil-free, pumpkin, salad, tahini, vegan, vegetables
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Warm Winter Vegetables

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 delicata sqush, de-seeded, diced
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled, cored, diced
  • 4 mutlicolored carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1, 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • avocado oil spray omit if oil-free
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Salad Dressing

  • 3 tbsp runny tahini
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • tsp onion powder
  • 5 tbsp water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Salad

  • 4 cups lettuce of choice (arugula, spinach, butter lettuce…)
  • chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • toasted pumpkin seeds
  • vegan feta cheese
  • avocado diced
  • pomegrante arils
  • fresh figs

Instructions

Warm Winter Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl combine pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, and chili flakes (if using). Set aside.
  • Divide prepared sweet potatoes, delicata squash, parsnips, and carrots and place on prepared baking sheets. Spray with avocado oil cooking spray. Top with spice mixture and toss to coat.
  • Roast for 20 minutes then remove from oven and add cranberries and black beans to both baking sheets. Toss to coat and roast for additional 20 mintues.

Salad Dressing

  • In a small bowl whisk all salad dressing ingredients until well combined. If too thick, add water a tbsp at a time until desired consistancy is reached.

Salad

  • To assemble the salad: toss lettuce greens of choice with salad dressing. Divide between 3-4 plates. Top with warm winter vegetables and additional salad toppers. I suggest: chopped walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds; vegan feta or diced avocado; pomegrante seeds or fresh figs.
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