Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com
Appies & Sides, Dairy Free, Dinner, Food, Gluten Free, Lunch, Occasions, Paleo, Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter

FESTIVE VEGAN SALAD WITH CRANBERRY DIJON VINAIGRETTE

Do you have a plant based eater or vegan attending your dinner party this season, but have absolutely no idea what to feed them?! Relax, my friends — I have just the recipe! The best part about my Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette is that I bet you have most (if not all) these ingredients already stocked in your kitchen for the holidays. The festive medley of fruits and veggies is hearty, satisfying and loved by herbivores, omnivores and carnivores alike. It’s the ultimate no-fuss addition to any dinner table this season!

Eat the rainbow and fuel up on the good stuff during this indulgent time of year — a powerhouse mélange of apples, mandarin oranges, brussel sprouts, shredded beets, roasted acorn squash, toasted walnuts and a tangy Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette comprise this nourishing holiday salad. It pairs perfectly with turkey, or can be enjoyed alone for a vegan dinner option that won’t leave guests hungry for more. This showstopping salad comes together in less than 30 minutes and keeps for up to 3 days (like most things in life, it gets better with age!) — because we all know the best part about Christmas dinner is the leftovers!


FESTIVE VEGAN SALAD WITH CRANBERRY DIJON VINAIGRETTE


Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

This isn’t the recipe I had planned to publish today, but as things typically go around here, my last minute creations end up being the real winners! I had my Mom over for an impromptu dinner earlier this month and whipped us up a salad with what I had kicking around in my kitchen. My Mom and I both love salad — she’s a very plant based eater as well and we pretty much lived on salad when I was in high school (and a vegetarian at the time). I have so many memories of us making huge entree salads for dinner and watching Gilmore Girls, coming back for multiple helpings until the bowl was empty. Maybe that’s why I still love them so much — big, hearty salads are my absolute favourite thing to eat!

Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

So, I went to work preparing dinner for us as we sipped on some Pinot Gris. I had an acorn squash that needed to be eaten and a fridge full of seasonal veggies to play with. Alas, my Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette was conceived! I ended up cooking a turkey breast as well that evening (not really to eat with dinner, but for meal prep purposes for the rest of the week). When my Mom pointed out how well the salad paired with the turkey and hinted that she’d love the recipe for Christmas dinner this year, I knew I had to get it out before the holidays for everyone to enjoy!

Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

Adding pan roasted acorn squash and toasted walnuts to this salad really transforms it from a typical holiday side to a hearty, nourishing option that can be a meal in itself. If you don’t have a lot of vegan friendly recipes on your menu for Christmas dinner, this salad can absolutely be served as an entree — just be sure to load up on the squash and nuts to make it more filling! To prepare this salad, I start by pan roasting my squash and work on the rest for the 10 minutes it cooks. By the time the squash is done, the rest of the ingredients are chopped and the vinaigrette is ready to go! This is a low maintenance salad with a big wow factor — I guarantee its vibrant, magenta hue will be a point of conversation around your holiday table.

Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

Pssst… let me fill you in on a little secret: beets are the best natural food colouring you’ll ever find (case in point). Not only are the crazy good for you, they’re also crazy beautiful and responsible for tinting this Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette with its standout hue. Shredded beets will also stain your hands (and white quartz counter tops!), so be sure to wash up with soap right after you’re finished! This time, I didn’t throw them into the vinaigrette, but I did add a handful of fresh cranberries for a cheerful pop of flavour and a pretty, pink flush.

Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

P.S. — Yes, I finally caved and purchased some gold flatware. They’re so festive! If you’re curious, this set is from West Elm and it’s absolutely stunning — I’m trying to restrain myself from grabbing the copper set as well!

Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com


INGREDIENTS


Serves 6 – 8

Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

Festive Vegan Salad

• 1 acorn squash
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 clove garlic
• 10 turns Himalayan pink salt
• 10 turns black pepper

• 15 brussel sprouts
• 3 apples
• 2 mandarin oranges
• 3 beets

Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette

• 3 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
• 2 tbsp rosé wine vinegar
• 10 fresh cranberries
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1/3 cup freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 10 turns Himalayan pink salt
• 10 turns black pepper

Toasted Walnuts

• 1/2 cup walnut pieces
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 5 turns Himalayan pink salt


INSTRUCTIONS


Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

1. Start by peeling and dicing the acorn squash into 1″ cubes and mincing 1 clove of garlic.

2. Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, acorn squash and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Roast over medium heat, turning constantly, until squash becomes browned and tender — approximately 10 – 15 minutes. 

Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

3. While the squash is cooking, prep the remainder of the vegetables for the salad. Wash brussel sprouts and peel outer leaves, remove the stem and chop finely. Dice apples and add mandarin orange segments to add to a large serving bowl. Using a grater, shred beets over the serving bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.

4. Add all Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette ingredients to your Vitamix (or similar) and blend until smooth.

Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

5. Dress the salad and toss to combine.

6. Garnish with Toasted Walnuts and a few fresh cranberries. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com


FESTIVE VEGAN SALAD WITH CRANBERRY DIJON VINAIGRETTE
Serves 6
Do you have a plant based eater or vegan attending your dinner party this season, but have absolutely no idea what to feed them?! Relax, my friends -- I have just the recipe! The best part about my Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette is that I bet you have most (if not all) these ingredients already stocked in your kitchen for the holidays. The festive medley of fruits and veggies is hearty, satisfying and loved by herbivores, omnivores and carnivores alike. It's the ultimate, no-fuss addition to any dinner table this season!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Festive Vegan Salad
  1. • 1 acorn squash
  2. • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. • 1 clove garlic
  4. • 10 turns Himalayan pink salt
  5. • 10 turns black pepper
  6. • 15 brussel sprouts
  7. • 3 apples
  8. • 2 mandarin oranges
  9. • 3 beets
Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette
  1. • 3 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
  2. • 2 tbsp rosé wine vinegar
  3. • 10 fresh cranberries
  4. • 1 clove of garlic
  5. • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  6. • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed mandarin orange juice
  7. • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  8. • 10 turns Himalayan pink salt
  9. • 10 turns black pepper
Toasted Walnuts
  1. • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  2. • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. • 5 turns Himalayan pink salt
Instructions
  1. Start by peeling and dicing the acorn squash into 1" cubes and mincing 1 clove of garlic.
  2. Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, acorn squash and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Roast over medium heat, turning constantly, until squash becomes browned and tender -- approximately 10 - 15 minutes.
  3. While the squash is cooking, prep the remainder of the vegetables for the salad. Wash brussel sprouts and peel outer leaves, remove the stem and chop finely. Dice apples and add mandarin orange segments to add to a large serving bowl. Using a grater, shred beets over the serving bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Add all Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette ingredients to your Vitamix (or similar) and blend until smooth.
  5. Dress the salad and toss to combine.
  6. Garnish with Toasted Walnuts and a few fresh cranberries. Serve immediately and enjoy!
JustineCelina http://justinecelina.com/

STILL HUNGRY? MORE SALADS & SIDES


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Crudité Style Niçoise Salad

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Tahini Sauce


Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette // JustineCelina.com

What are your favourite holiday sides and salads? I totally think they’re the best part of Christmas dinner — I always load my plate up with sides and salads first! If you try my Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette, please let me know how you liked it by leaving me a comment below, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Use the hashtag #justinecelinarecipes in your recreations on social media so I can find them — I love it when you guys tag me so I can see your recreations! I also have a Pinterest board for my recipes if you care to follow along. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season!


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and contains my genuine thoughts, ideas and recommendations. JustineCelina uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my links. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that support JustineCelina.com!

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7 Comments

  • Reply Hilary December 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    What a gorgeous salad! I’m also a huge fan of salad dinners- it is so much more than lettuce! 🙂 Happy holidays!

    • Reply Justine December 26, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Hilary! I just came back from oogling a few of your latest creations. Hope you had a great Christmas!

  • Reply Teresa December 24, 2016 at 3:05 am

    It’s so important to have attractive, delicious food for everyone at your table, especially during the holidays. This salad would be popular with all eaters!

    • Reply Justine December 26, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks, Teresa! It’s on our holiday table tonight, so hopefully it goes over well. 🙂 Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you!

  • Reply Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs December 26, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Beautiful, Justine! This salad will be great all winter, not just for the holiday season. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    • Reply Justine December 26, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Thanks so much, Alexandra! It will definitely be on repeat around here this season. I hope you had a great holiday season, as well! 🙂

  • Reply CURRIED WINTER VEGETABLES WITH ROASTED ACORN SQUASH (+ MY 200th BLOG POST!) - JustineCelina January 13, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    […] through intense phases with food (anyone else?)! The last 2 entree recipes I’ve published (my Festive Vegan Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette and Indian Summer Vegan Chili) also contain squash. What can I say? Squash is inexpensive, simple […]

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