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Winter Greens & Caramelized Butternut Squash Couscous Entree Salad is a delightful dish that’s deliciously satisfying.

winter greens and caramelized butternut squash couscous salad

WHAT A FABULOUSLY DELICIOUS COUSCOUS ENTREE SALAD!

Winter Greens & Caramelized Butternut Squash Couscous Entree Salad is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!  Punctuated with green baby spinach leaves and charred, caramelized butternut squash, this salad is great for company.

And that’s exactly why I put in on the menu of my Pamper Me Pretty Party – The Ultimate Spa Day!  It’s the perfect addition to a healthy, but deliciously decadent day-long menu.

Let’s talk about getting your butternut squash perfectly cooked for this fabulous couscous entree salad!

 

ROASTING VEGETABLES TO THE CARAMELIZED STAGE

caramelized butternut squash

When vegetables are roasted at high temperatures in the oven, magic happens!  The outsides get crusty and charred, while the centers develop a deeply flavorful, creamy texture.  Like I said, MAGIC!

Here’s some tips for roasting vegetables in the oven to the caramelized stage:

  • Peel and cut your vegetables into bite-sized pieces
  • Toss with a nice tasting oil, like a mild olive or avocado oil
  • Use enough to thoroughly coat each and every piece, but not enough to allow puddling on the pan
  • Give the vegetables a good sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, tossing to coat well
  • Spread the vegetable chucks evenly in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Make sure to give them plenty of room to brown and crispen
  • Preheat the oven to at least 425°F, but you can go as high as 450°F for a faster roasting time
  • Roast until the vegetables are tender enough to pierce with a fork and you see some charred bits on the edges
  • Start checking the vegetables about 15 minutes into the cooking time to stir if needed

 

WINTER GREENS & CARAMELIZED BUTTERNUT SQUASH COUSCOUS ENTREE SALAD

couscous entree salad

This is such an incredibly simple recipe, and can be made in stages to give you a break on the day it’s served.  That’s especially nice if you’re planning to serve this lovely couscous entree salad to company!

You’ll find the recipe card for Winter Greens & Caramelized Butternut Squash Couscous Entree Salad at the bottom of this post.

Remember the Pamper Me Pretty Party I mentioned earlier?  Come see the rest of the fabulous Luncheon Buffet menu, party printables, in-party activities, and much, much more!

 

WHY NOT GET THE GALS TOGETHER FOR A FABULOUS PAMPER ME PRETTY PARTY?

This is the “Welcome to my Pamper Me Pretty Party” you’ll have waiting for the girls upon their arrival.  How special are they to score a custom-printed invitation to your day of beauty, relaxation and girly-girl fun?  AND, what a fabulous hostess you are too, by the way!

pamper me pretty party appetizer board

Ingredients for a Fabulous Life has the Ultimate Spa Day Party all planned out for you! 

Everything is taken care of, from the Pamper Me Pretty Party Invitations to the Take-Home Goodie Bags.  They’ll be stuffed full of the beauty treatments your gal-pals make during the party plus a few extras you’ve tossed in! 

 

 THE “PAMPER ME PRETTY PARTY” KIT 

PRINTABLES:pamper me pretty party invitation pdf

  • PMP Party invitation
  • Pamper Party Master Shopping List
  • PMP Party Food & Beverage Signage
  • PMP Party At-Party Facial Treatment Instruction Signage -includes spa treatment supply checklist  (party activity)
  • Party “Take Home” Recipe & Instruction Signage  (party activity)
  • Essential Oil Blending Guide (for the “personal fragrance” station party activity)
  • PMP Party Swag Bag Tags (so your guests will know which swag bag is theirs!)
  • Natural Facelift Massage Instructions Sheet (party activity)
  • DIY Scalp Massage Sheet (party activity)
  • PMP Party Front Door “WARNING” No cell phone Pampering Zone sign

 

 

THE ULTIMATE SPA DAY PARTY IS JUST WAITING FOR YOU!

As you see in this image, I actually served my Couscous Entree Salad on top of an upside-down bowl!  It’s one of my tricks to give my buffets more interest with foods at different heights.  A “lift” can be anything from an empty box (draped in fabric), to an upside-down bowl.  Get creative!

pamper me pretty party lunch buffet

I’ve created a fabulous menu perfect for a lovely spa day or evening.  Your guests will enjoy a varied menu consisting of:

  • Beverage Service includes:  Fruited Spa Waters, Pitchers of Spicy Bloody Mary’s & Lemon Drop cocktails
  • Roasted Shrimp Cocktails with Zesty Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette
  • Winter Greens & Caramelized Butternut Squash Couscous Salad
  • Composed Beet & Feta Salad with Pesto Chiffonade
  • Dessert:  Chocolate Hazelnut & Lemon Poppyseed Dips served with assorted fruits and cookies
  • Iced Coffee and Asst. Hot Teas

 

AT PARTY SPA TREATMENTS & TAKE HOME GOODIE BAGS

The pampering begins with your guests enjoying a series of beauty treatments, facial yoga exercises, an even a relaxing scalp rub!

pamper me pretty party in party spa treatments

 

 After a delicious and relaxing Pamper Me Pretty Luncheon Buffet, the gals will get busy!  Your guests will have a blast concocting their own beauty treatments to take home with them. 

pamper me pretty party swag bagDessert, Iced Coffee and a lovely selection of hot teas await them to end your Ultimate Spa Day Party!

Can you imagine a more fabulous way to spend an afternoon with the gals? 

This party does have a bit of “prep”. But if you draft your BFF to help on party day, you’ll be ready to enjoy a day of relaxing fun with your friends. 

And now, imagine the cozy “spa” atmosphere you’ll create in your home.

The lights are dimmed, it’s warm and cozy, candles are flickering and soft music wafts through the air …

Why not start planning your own Pamper Me Pretty Party?  What date looks good for you?  

CLICK HERE TO READ THE MASTER POST:  PAMPER ME PRETTY PARTY – THE ULTIMATE SPA DAY

 

HERE’S HOW TO GET YOUR PAMPER ME PRETTY PARTY PRINTABLES

pamper me pretty party printables

 

Want your own set of PAMPER ME PRETTY PARTY PRINTABLES, but you’re not on our list yet?

Why not join in on the fun!

Fill out the form below and I’ll send you a copy as a thank you for joining the IFAFL Email Subscriber List.

As a Ingredients For A Fabulous Life Subscriber, you’ll also get instant access to the IFAFL Resource Library and receive our twice-weekly emails.

What are you waiting for?  You don’t want to miss out on anything fabulous, do you?   There’s always something fabulous happening here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life, don’t you want to stay in the loop?  

Come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life!  That’s where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.  

 

 

 

 

Winter Greens Couscous Salad

Winter Greens and Carmelized Butternut Squash Couscous Salad

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

So pretty with chunks of caramelized butternut squash, baby spinach, toasted pecans and plumb dried cherries. This MAKE AHEAD RECIPE has lots of color, texture and flavor in one bowl and makes for a fabulous Winter salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Israili couscous (pearl)
  • 3 cups butternut squash, 1" peeled cubes
  • 1 Tbs. Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar (I use maple sugar, it's worth hunting down!)
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves or watercress, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted (350 degree oven for 5 mins)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, plumped in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 2/3 cup canned chickpeas, drained and dried well
  • 1 Tbs. Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 shallot, peeled, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 Tbs. Extra virgin olive oil
  • DRESSING
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions

COUSCOUS

  1. Cook couscous according to package directions, EXCEPT, UNDERCOOK it by 2 minutes. When done, carefully spread out in an even layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet to cool. IF MAKING AHEAD, PLACE IN A COVERED STORAGE CONTAINER AND REFRIGERATE UNTIL SALAD ASSEMBLY. (CAN BE PREPARED UP TO 48 HOURS BEFORE SERVING)

SQUASH

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place squash cubes in a large bowl, add the oil, S&P and sugar and toss well to coat squash. Put squash on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer (not touching) and bake for 15 minutes.
  2. After 15 minutes, take squash out, turn cubes to let them carmelize evenly and put back in oven for another 15 minutes for until tender. Reduce oven to 350 degrees if roasting chickpeas at this time.
  3. Cool squash and refrigerate until ready to assemble salad. (CAN BE PREPARED UP TO 48 HOURS BEFORE SERVING)
  4. Place the bone-dry chickpeas in a small bowl, add olive oil, S&P and paprika and toss well to coat chickpeas. Pour onto a rimmed baking pan.
  5. Bake chickpeas in the 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, toss well, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until crispy. (CAN BE PREPARED UP TO 24 HOURS AHEAD AND HELD AT ROOM TEMPERATURE)
  6. Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet for medium heat. Add shallot rings in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and crispy. Hold at room temperature for up to 3 hours before using on salad. (OR MAKE AHEAD, REFRIGERATE, AND RE-CRISP IN 350 degree OVEN FOR 5 MINS.)

SALAD CAN BE ASSEMBLED UP TO 4 HOURS BEFORE SERVING

  1. TO ASSEMBLE: Place couscous in a large bowl and gently break up lumps with clean hands, trying not to break couscous pearls. Add 2 Tbs. of the dressing and toss to coat.
  2. Add the spinach, pecans, chickpeas, cherries and 1/3 cup more dressing to the couscous. Toss well to combine. Add squash cubes and toss gently to combine and keep the squash cubes from breaking up.
  3. Place in a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. TO SERVE: Sprinkle crispy shallot rings on top of salad just before serving.

Notes

Between the salad and dressing, you'll need about 1 cup of Extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. THIS IS A GREAT RECIPE TO MAKE IN STEPS FOR EASY MAKE-AHEAD PREP.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 399Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 1mgSodium 347mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 6gSugar 13gProtein 5g

Nutritional information should be considered an estimate only; please consult a registered dietician, nutritionist, or your physician for specific health-related questions. Please note that the recipe above is published using a recipe card plugin, with preexisting software which can auto-calculate metric measurements, as well as change the number of servings. Metric conversions and changes to the number of servings (resulting in different ingredient amounts) will only appear in the ingredient list, and are not changed within the step-by-step directions of the recipe.

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