Saturday, November 28, 2009

Butternut Squash, Pineapple, Dried Cranberries and Walnut Salad

This is another dish we had for Thanksgiving that changed sometime between the original menu and when I actually made it. I can’t say why I changed my mind; I just wasn’t in the mood for spinach when I started making this salad. Since the hubby and I love vanilla I decided to add that to salad and went from there.

Surprisingly this salad was one of the hits on the dinner table. Everyone liked and it and said I should make it again. I think it was the vanilla but am not actually certain why it was so popular. The salad was a tiny bit sweet from the maple syrup, pineapple and cranberries, but also had the unmistakable floral aroma from the vanilla. I enjoyed the textural contrast from the walnuts. Overall this dish came together is a very pleasant way that we all enjoyed. Here is what I did.

Butternut Squash, Pineapple, Dried Cranberries and Walnut Salad
Makes 8 servings


6 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½” cubes
1 cup pineapple, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 tablespoon toasted walnuts, roughly chopped


Steam the butternut squash until it is tender. Set it aside to cool. Add the pineapple and dried cranberries.

Whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla, orange juice and zest and add it the salad. Toss to coat everything and refrigerate until needed.

Top the salad with the toasted walnuts just before serving to keep them from getting too soft. Best served cold, or at least cool.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 103.11
Calories From Fat (3%) - 2.64

Total Fat - 0.3g
Saturated Fat - 0.03g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 5.16mg
Potassium - 425.88mg
Total Carbohydrates - 25.69g
Fiber - 3.12g
Sugar 6.8g
Protein - 1.25g


I was a little surprised that a dish I sort of tossed together an hour before dinner would be so popular. Everyone, including the picky parents, really liked this dish. It is only subtly sweet. Don’t expect it to be cranberry sauce sweet.

Each serving of this salad has over 11,100IU of vitamin A. If you think you are low on vitamin A, eat more butternut squash.

Unrelated note:

Things have been hectic here preparing for Christmas. Sorry I have been late getting all the Thanksgiving recipes posted. I do hope to have them all posted by the end of the coming week. I have quite a few more to write up. I hadn’t realized how much I made until I started putting in all of it into the cookbook software. No wonder I was exhausted after dinner. It really was a ridiculous number of dishes. Oh well, we all enjoyed the food and there were plenty of leftovers to go around.

I need to get back to Christmas decorating. It takes days to get it all done because I am so ridiculously OCD about it. I will try to take some decent photos and post them after we get it all done.

If I have time I will be back later with another recipe tonight. I made a nice curried vegetable dish for dinner tonight that I hope to get posted this evening.


  1. Wow! The salad looks so amazing. The photo came out so beautiful and colorful, I love it. It sounds like a simple recipe which is perfect for me and I love all the ingredients you used. Just wondering if you put any salt in the butternut squash when you steamed it? Talk to you later, Alicia:)

  2. Oraphan,

    No I didn't add any salt because we are trying to cut back on our sodium intake. I would suggest that you add salt after you make the dish and taste it for seasoning.

    talk to you soon,

  3. lovely dish alicia:)i can't wait to try it! it looks lovely also. sorry i haven't been around dear, the holidays and out of town guests plus the usual thing of a 51 year old being too exhausted to type after running a 19 month old during this time!lol hope you and yours thoroughly enjoyed the holiday:) big herbal and honey hugs to you:)

  4. Comfrey,

    Thanks! :)

    We have all been swamped with the holiday, and now Christmas is approaching. Yikes, I am not ready. But then again, I never am and it is always fine in the end.

    I have the 47 year old being too exhausted thing so I understand what is happening at your house. What I wouldn't give to be 10 years younger. ;) Oh well, I can dream.

    I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday!


  5. I think the dish was so popular because it sounds and looks delicious! What a great combo of ingredients :-)


  6. Courtney,

    Thanks, that is very nice of you to say!



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