Harvest Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Roasted Turkey

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the brisk mornings and the early sunsets that lead into crisp, cool nights – though admittedly the season here in Southern California isn’t nearly as gorgeous as it is elsewhere in the country. I’m looking forward to tights, coats, boots, and scarves, and am burning my favorite “Pumpkin Caramel Latte” and “Leaves” candles as I write this. I’ve even gotten myself a couple decorative pumpkins already! What I also love about fall is the abundance of seasonal squash at the market. Just yesterday I got organic butternut, spaghetti, acorn, and kabocha squash for just 99 cents a pound!

Harvest Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Roasted Turkey // Naturally Lindsey

In honor of the season’s imminent arrival (and to make use of some of my newly acquired squash bounty), I decided to make a salad celebrating the flavors of fall. Yes, I know, salad doesn’t typically scream “fall,” but one bite and you’ll be a believer. The spinach, though cold, wilts slightly when topped with the warm squash and turkey, but you could steam the spinach slightly if desired. I didn’t use any sort of dressing for this salad as I feel the tender squash provides enough moistness and flavor on its own, but tossing the spinach with lemon, ACV and olive oil would be lovely as well. This recipe serves one, but can of course be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to make more.

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Refined sugar-free
• Soy-free
• Paleo

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Cheap Eats: Zesty Tuna and Spinach Salad

I’ve always been a tuna kid. Tuna melts, tuna sandwiches, tuna helper – I had it all and ate it all. But since going gluten- and dairy-free, I’ve had to rethink the way I eat tuna. In this fast and fresh recipe I replaced the mayo with hummus, nixing the bread and cheese for a bed of vitamin-rich spinach topped with cherry tomatoes and fresh salsa. Cucumber slices cool things off and make for easy dipping. All in all, this recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves two people. Cheap, healthy, and easy. Who says eating well has to be hard?

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free (check your hummus!)
• Dairy-free
• Soy-free
• Nut-free
• Refined sugar-free
• Paleo

Cheap Eats: Zesty Tuna and Spinach Salad // Naturally Lindsey

Zesty Tuna and Spinach Salad

• 1 can solid white albacore tuna in water
• 2 tablespoons spicy hummus
• 1 cup baby spinach
• 1/2 small cucumber, sliced
• handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
• fresh salsa

1. In a small bowl, combine tuna and hummus. Mix well.
2. Place half a cup of spinach in a bowl and top with half of the tuna mixture. Serve with cucumber slices, tomatoes, and a heaping spoonful of salsa. Repeat with the rest of the spinach and tuna in a second bowl. Serve and enjoy.

edit: This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursdays

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Broccoli, Cucumber, Chickpea, Tomato Salad

I haven’t felt much like cooking lately. With a two-week long heatwave and no air conditioning, it’s very easy for one to become uninspired. However, yesterday it started to cool down… with 87% humidity. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, I too thought I lived in California and NOT Florida. But I digress…

Recently I’ve been try to eat more paleo (not completely – I love a good legume, as you’ll see here!), but I wanted to make my boyfriend a delicious meal that he would enjoy but that I could eat (no gluten, dairy, or soy) while also not spending a ton of money by using things I had on hand. Chicken breasts and bacon in the freezer. A can of chickpeas in the cupboard. A bag of red onions in the pantry. Two cucumbers and a bag of spinach in the fridge. Little did I know where my inspiration would take me.

My FastPaleo app (seriously download it, 99 cents and best recipe filtering I’ve seen on a food app –including a dairy/non-dairy option!) pointed me in the direction of The Civilized Caveman’s B.O.A.R.S. Chicken Breast and then I stumbled across Martha Stewart’s Broccoli, Chickpea, and Cherry Tomato Salad… buuut seeing as I can never seem to be able to leave a recipe alone, I turned them into Bacon, Peach, Spinach Stuffed Chicken and a Broccoli, Cucumber, Chickpea, Cherry Tomato Salad, respectively.

I made the salad first and let it chill while I cooked the chicken. Though more time consuming then my normal dinner, the recipes were really delicious (IF I don’t say so myself) and I would definitely make both of them again!

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Both recipes are

• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Nut-free
• Soy-free

The chicken is • Paleo and the salad is • Vegetarian/vegan (and can be Paleo if you remove the chickpeas)

Bacon, Peach, Spinach Stuffed Chicken

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 4 slices of bacon
• 2 fresh peaches, diced
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• handful of fresh basil leaves (5-7 leaves), torn
• sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• kitchen twine – enough for 4 chicken breasts (ask the deli section of your local grocer – they’ll probably just give it to you for free!)

1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook your bacon until almost crispy, then add in the diced onion and cook until soft.
2. Add in your peaches and spinach. Once the spinach wilts, remove from heat and stir in the basil. Set aside.
3. Place a large cast iron skillet (mine’s 12″) or oven-safe sauté pan on the burner. Preheat to medium-high heat.
4. While the pan is heating, butterfly open your chicken breasts and pound them down to 1/4″ thickness with a mallet or other flat heavy object (full disclosure: I was at my boyfriend’s house [read: no kitchen tools] so I placed two layers of saran wrap over the chicken and just used a hammer). Sprinkle salt and pepper inside each breast and spread the B.B.O.P.S. reduction on the inside of the breasts, saving some for a topper if desired.
5. Preheat your oven to 350°. Tightly roll the chicken breasts lengthwise and secure with twine to make sure none of the filling comes out while you cook.
6. The pan should be nice and hot now, so go ahead and place your chicken rolls in the pan. From here, you want to sear every side of the chicken for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes so there’s a slight char around the outside of each breast and no white spaces in between. When you get to your last side, place the pan in the oven until the chicken is cooked all the way through, another 10-15 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and garnish with the extra B.B.O.P.S. stuffing or basil leaves OR just devour them as is.

Broccoli, Cucumber, Chickpea and Cherry Tomato Salad

• 1 pound broccoli, separated into florets
• 1/2 large cucumber, diced
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 small red onion, finely chopped
• sea salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1. In either a sauce pan or pot with a steamer insert, steam the broccoli until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegars, oil, and onion until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, and broccoli and stir to combine. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve room temperature or chilled.