When I was in New York a couple weeks ago, I ate at a cute little Australian restaurant called Ruby’s. This spot is known for its salads and bowls, so I obviously needed to go there…bowls are the only way I would prefer to live my life. But when I saw their pumpkin spinach salad on the menu, I decided it had to be mine. And this salad DID NOT disappoint. It was absolutely delicious. It had spinach, roasted pumpkin, pine nuts, feta cheese, and a pomegranate dressing. And I added shrimp to my salad to add some lean protein to the mix. So you know what I did as soon as I got home? I made a pumpkin spinach salad with a pomegranate dressing and topped it with shrimp. Super creative. What a visionary I am. But sometimes, when you taste something so good, there is really no need to change anything. So I didn’t. And since I have no plans to go back to New York or Ruby’s any time soon, this salad will have to suffice. And honestly, I think it does!! I have to admit…the photos kind of suck ass for this recipe because I was rushing to get them shot before I left town, but don’t let that hinder your experience. Make this salad and enjoy you life, ok?? I only want the best for you!
On a completed unrelated note, hello from high in the sky, somewhere over Arizona! I’m currently flying back to Denver from Arizona, with Brian by my side. Yesterday we flew out of Denver at 4:30pm and this morning we are flying out of Phoenix at 9am. Short trip turned even shorter due to flight delays. I think we all need to get used to nothing running according to plan since people aren’t working, or they are quitting their jobs, or just getting fired. What a strange time we are living in. But once we did get to Arizona last night, we headed to a friend’s house for a little backyard concert. Our friend has a beautiful backyard with plenty of space to eat, drink, and bop around, so it was quite enjoyable, even if it was short lived. We really wanted to stay out in Arizona longer, but work calls back at home and we are hosting a party on Friday and then taking a party bus to a concert with all our friends. Two concerts in one week is pretty damn rad!
But the thing that wasn’t very rad was the sewage that was coming up through the drain in our hotel room last night. That was fun. As soon as we checked in to our hotel, we got lost on the property because it was so large, but once we did finally find our room, we were greeted by a smell that could not be overlooked. I have an extremely sensitive nose, but Brian DOES NOT. I once walked into our house years ago and was hit by the most intense smell of gas. Brian was passed out on the couch and had no idea the gas was running on our stove. The house could have blown up if he lit a match. So sketch. My point is, Brian smelled the sewage as soon as we walked in the bathroom. That means it was BAD. So we had to find our way back to the lobby, which took a while since Brian got lost again, before they moved us to a new room. I’ve stayed in some pretty sketchy hotels in the past and never had a sewage-in-the-shower situation. We also rented a car and noticed halfway through our 30 minutes drive that the gas was almost completely empty. It was all a very strange experience in a short 16 hour trip. Will I stay at that hotel again? Negative. Will I go back to Arizona? As soon as possible. Brian and I have been playing with the idea of living there or maybe spending half the year there, since we still love Colorado so much. It’s time to figure out how to make warm weather all year round happen! I’m excited to see how this new adventure plays out!
Spinach Pumpkin Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
For the salad
- 5–6 cup cubed pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1/2 pound peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp
- pinch of salt
- 5–6 cups fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- optional – feta cheese or dairy-free soft cheese alternative
For the dressing
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cubed pumpkin in a bowl and toss with avocado oil, maple syrup, salt and garlic powder. Add evenly throughout the baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, until soft and tender.*
- While the pumpkin cooks, place pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring pomegranate juice to a low boil for 10 minutes or so, until the liquid has reduced by over half and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (similar to maple syrup). Once reduced, cool slightly then add all ingredients for the pomegranate dressing to a resealable jar. Close jar and shake to combined. Once combined, place in the fridge until salad is ready for dressing.
- Place a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil. Pat the shrimp dry and sprinkle with salt on top. Once pan is hot, place shrimp in pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until completely pink and tails have curled in.
- Place pine nuts in a small nonstick pan over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, until toasted and fragrant.
- Once the pumpkin is done cooking, use a knife to remove the skin. Add spinach, pine nuts, hemp hearts, pumpkin and shrimp to a large bowl. Pour on dressing to desired amount then toss to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy fully
*Time will range depending on the cube size of the pumpkin
What I Used To Make This Recipe:
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