Mexican Butternut Squash & Black Bean Salad

healthy vegetarian salad

This healthy meatless recipe is boyfriend-approved and completely mouthwatering. It's become a regular meal in our weeknight dinner rotation so I had to share it. The sweet squash is balanced with smoky chipotle peppers in adobo, bitter arugula, and tangy creamy goat cheese. It's one of those dinners that leaves you completely satisfied without feeling overly full. This is one of the only salads I will eat for dinner in the colder months. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Hot & Spicy Mexican Butternut Squash & Bean Salad Recipe

Serves: 3 to 4 

Ingredients:

  • Half of a butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (Tip: buy pre-cut squash)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no salt added organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (5-ounce) package baby arugula
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large tray with aluminum foil.
  2. Peel squash, scoop out and discard the seeds, and cut into 1/2 inch bite-size cubes. If you use pre-cut squash, you will probably need to cut it a little smaller.
  3. Place squash on tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to thoroughly coat. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until browned or tender when pierced with a fork.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, and adobo sauce.
  5. Once squash is done, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan and sauté the garlic and adobo chili. Add squash, black beans, salt, and pepper. Cook mixture for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove squash mixture from heat and add just 3 tablespoons of the adobo dressing.
  7. Place arugula in a large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. 
  8. Divide between 3 to 4 dishes. Top with butternut squash and black bean mixture. Garnish with goat cheese and walnuts.

Tips:
-This is great leftover as lunch the next day
-If you don't like heat, leave out the adobo chili
-You will find chipotle chiles in adobo sauce in a small can in the Mexican food section. You can use the leftover chipotles in chili or any marinade. They also freeze well if you lay them flat and just break off whatever you need later on.

Adapted from Cooking Light: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-squash-black-bean-salad


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