Today we are making salad. WHAT? WHY? I know I know… I have said time and time again I’m not a salad person. However, like most people, I CAN be persuaded to enjoy salad when its really really good. And this one, is REALLY really good. It’s so fall! It has squash, dried cranberries and a dressing that, according to greg’s sister, tastes like apple crisp.
Guess what? This recipe is actually inspired by one in my cookbook! You can see that recipe featured in the video at the bottom of this post, before I get into this version. But its next level with the “chicken” added. As a side, the book recipe is great! But if you want this to keep you full longer, or serve it as a main, you gotta add some protein!
For the chicken, we’re using my favourite seitan chicken. I’ve made this in many forms on this blog, like this, and this, so it should be somewhat familiar to you guys. However, if you don’t want to use seitan or are gluten-free, definitely replace the seitan with firm cubed tofu! You can still coat it in flour, drizzle with oil and bake to golden perfection!
So what does this salad really taste like?
Well, its a tender spinach salad and I added pea shoots in for some fun texture, but you can do any greens you like! The dressing is sweet & spiced with ginger and cinnamon, and a tad tangy to balance it all out. The squash is sweet, cranberries are tart, and “chicken” is crispy and golden. Each bite is a delight! Haha.
Squash, Cranberry & “Chicken” Salad
- Yield: 4 servings
A spinach salad with squash, dried cranberry and a spiced maple dressing. Topped with vegan “chicken”.
- 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 2 tbsp oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup pea shoots or 1 cup greens of your choice
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
Spiced Maple Dijon Dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast OR chickpea flour
- 1 cup vegan “chicken” flavour broth + 3 cups vegan chicken flavour broth
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper
- oil for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast. Add 1 cup vegan chicken style broth and stir to combine into a spongey dough. Pour the rest of the broth into the instant pot *see note for if you don’t have an instant pot. Break the dough into 6 pieces and place into the pot. Cook on manual/high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Place squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- In a shallow bowl, combine all purpose flour, paprika and salt and pepper. Once chicken is finished, remove from instant pot with a slotted spoon and coat with the flour mixture.
- Remove squash from the oven, push to one side and place seitan on the pan. Drizzle with oil and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, flip and bake another 10 minutes until golden brown.
- In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Remove pan from oven and let squash cool. Slice chicken.
- In a large bowl, add the greens, sunflower seeds, cranberries, green onion, squash and dressing and toss to combine. Serve onto plates and top with the chicken slices.
- *Boil seitan on the stove for 45 minutes if you don’t have an instant pot.