Sometimes the word “salad” is a turnoff. Some people see it as a “diet” food or what you’re forced to eat when you want to lose weight. People think boring… leafy… unsatisfying.
Who really eats salads for fun?
You do! Well, maybe not yet… but by the end of this article, you’ll be ready to whip up one of these hearty, nutrient rich, SATISFYING salads. Take that, “diet.” It’s time to be healthy because we want to be, not because we are forced to be.
And really, the fall is a great time to do that. Salads tend to be warmer, more robust, and vegetable-laden during this season – and did I mention delicious? I mean, throw freshly roasted butternut into any salad and you’ve got autumn on a plate.
These recipes below are anything but boring and unsatisfying. They hold up to my Fall Salads standard and will keep you satisfied longer than you think. Plus, they are packed with folate, vitamins, and other prenatal necessities to keep your fertility journey going strong. Enjoy!
Fertile Friendly Fall Salads
Tabbouleh Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs
This salad is a great source of vitamin C, iron, and, a pre-conception/conception favorite, folate.
1 cup bulgur
3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups chopped ripe red and yellow tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (try to buy a BPA-free can)
¼ cup chopped and seeded cucumber
2 tbs packed fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup minced red onion
Prepare bulgur – place the bulgur in a bowl and pour ¾ cup boiling water over top. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Prepare the salad – combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add in the drained bulgur, along with all other ingredients. Stir gently to combine.
Serve immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for a day.
**This recipe is courtesy of Cooking to Conceive.
Curried Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash and Chickpeas
This recipe is full of folate, protein, and fiber.
1 small butternut squash, peeling, seeded, and cubed (2-3 cups total)
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp fine sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 ¼ cups water
1 ½ tsp curry powder
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp mustard powder
1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (try to buy a BPA-free can)
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp freshly grated lime zest
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line baking sheet or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine the cubed squash with half of the olive oil, half of the salt, and half of the pepper in a bowl, and toss to combine. Spread the squash onto your baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once in the halfway. Remove and let cool.
While the squash is roasting, make the quinoa. Combine the quinoa, water, curry powder, cumin, ginger, and mustard powder in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue with package instructions until tender.
Combine the butternut squash with the cooked quinoa and add the remaining 1 tbs olive oil, chickpeas, red wine vinegar, lime zest, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro. Add in the rest of the salt and pepper and mix.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
**This recipe is courtesy of Whole Cooking and Nutrition.
Both of these recipes support a strong fertility journey and pump your body with the necessary nutrients it needs to be the perfect home for a baby. Preconception wellness (even for men!) is crucial to giving yourself the best chances possible, so why not start now?! Another great thing about these two recipes is that there is some ingredient overlap! One trip to grocery store and two dishes? Look at you, meal-planner! Time to cozy up with these recipes and enjoy the autumn season around you.