Party on a Plate

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday; family and friends, good food, fellowship, no gifts.I think it’s that last piece that I find so freeing. I’ve never been a good shopper, don’t enjoy it as a way to socialize – heck, just ask my family – when they do receive gifts, sometimes they’re not even wrapped!fullsizeoutput_1bd1

That’s why I tend to look a the holiday meal and the individual dish preparation as gifts. I love flipping through recipes to discover something that will align with dietary preferences and seasonal ingredients, something that I might make too much of in order to feast on for a second day, and something that might delight both the table and the guests.

This year, my brother’s family provided a generous meal and setting. We brought ourselves and a salad for a wonderful evening of connecting with others – some of whom had traveled long distances to be there. I perused a dozen cookbooks and online recipes before landing on this one. I love the heartiness and yes, love most roasted anything.

This salad takes some preparation but because the steps are staggered, it isn’t overwhelming. The recipe offers flexibility so that you can add ingredients or subtract them based upon your farmers market and when it’s not Thanksgiving, this truly can be a meal.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Salad

Adapted from The Chew
Serves 6


  • Directions:
  • 4 large carrots (halved lengthwise and cut in half)
  • 3 shallots (halved)
  • 1 butternut squash (peeled, halved, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch slices)
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried green lentils (rinsed)
  • 1/2 onion (studded with 8 cloves)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lb arugula
  • 2 Celery Stalks (thinly sliced)
  • Juice of 1/2 a large lemon


Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine carrots, shallots, squash, brussel sprouts, and garlic. Drizzle at least 2 Tbs of olive oil over the top. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Pour vegetables onto a tray and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, tossing once, halfway through.

Meanwhile, prepare the lentils by putting them into a small saucepan and covering with water by 2 inches. Add the onion and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and discard the onion, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.


Seasoning green lentils

When vegetables are finished roasting, remove the garlic. Peel and mash the garlic in a medium bowl, combine with the remaining olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard. (I did this in a small food processor)

Toss the lentils with the vinaigrette, fold in the arugula leaves. Transfer to a serving platter. Arrange roasted vegetables on the top and add the sliced celery.

If you were to give the gift of a meal, what would it be?

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  1. Yummy! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Happy Holidays to you and yours, Tammy!

  2. Looks hearty and delicious? Do you peel the butternut squash? If not, do you expect the diners to peel as they eat or eat the skin?

    • Funny you should ask! The recipe that I used did not say to peel the squash so I didn’t. However, as I was assembling the plate, I couldn’t envision eating the peel or having people peel it as they ate so I cut them off at that time. At any rate, I modified the recipe to say “peeled squash”.

  3. Gorgeous dish, Tammy.

    As far as the gift of a meal ~> so many choices makes it hard to choose. Anything from a hearty soup and home-baked bread . . . to grilled cheese sandwiches . . . to a big pan of lasagna. Anything that makes guests want to dive in.


  4. So good to hear from you and see your salad! I love what you said about how meals and dishes can be gifts. :). Food is a gift, and love and friendship. Thank you!

    • Feeding others becomes a gift for the server too, doesn’t it Debbie? Hope your Thanksgiving was blessed!

  5. This sounds delicious! I had the good fortune to spend the time gifting my family with their Thanksgiving meal this year. It’s work, but I loved doing it. Even cooking the turkey (when we normally enjoy a vegetarian diet and Thanksgiving meal). 🙂

    • Great to see you Robin. This salad will fit in perfect with a vegetarian diet over the winter. And you can easily change up the vegetables. Best to you!

  6. What a perfect autumn side dish Tammy! I think I like Thanksgiving because my brother hosts it and I just bring a couple of pies. Easy peasy but loads of fun!

    • But, who gets the left overs?

      • He stocks up on take out dishes so we all bring things home. But this year I did a ham Wednesday night for incoming college students and noshing through the weekend. I think that tradition’s a keeper!

  7. It is summer here but I can still imagine making a variation of this dish for our Christmas table 🙂

  8. Lisa H

     /  November 29, 2016

    Tammy, the salad was perfect! and so delicious! How fortunate we are able to be together on our favorite holiday (I’m totally with you–all food, no gifts). The house was full of laughter and family–best gifts ever.

  9. That’s a real party on a plate! Good to know there are more veggies freaks like me out there. I love adding garlic to my meals!

    • Thanks Agnes. It’s a terrific salad that has plenty of protein and flavor and can be dressed up for any season.

  10. I know that roasted sprouts & veggies are heavenly so I made your lovely dinner! Perfect! I have some news! I just made my 1st E-Book called Healthy Vegan Christmas ! You can get it if you subscribe!

    • Hmm, I already subscribe – maybe I have to do it again?

      • When you subscribe. You will get a confirmation email: Yes, subscribe me to the list & then, you receive a welcome email with the 2 download links.
        If you were subscribed before, you already got a newsletter from me from December the 24th 2016 where you could dowload the version that you liked. I gave this for free, as an extra for all my 1,800 subscribers!

      • I think you must do it by email! I didn’t see your mail adresse in my lists & reports!

  11. This works only when you subscribe through email though!

  12. What a beautiful salad. It has so many textures and flavours. I love the sound of your Thanksgiving xx

  13. simply damn delicious!!!


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