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Monday, October 8, 2012

Steamed Butternut Squash Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing (gluten free and vegan)

Tropical Fall Salad

Tropical Fall Salad with Butternut Squash and Coconut Lime Dressing

Fall and Tropical are not two words you often see together.  Neither are "warm" and "salad."  Normally when I see butternut squash, I think soup.  

 However, here in Madison, WI, our weather has been a little funny.  About 4 or 5 days ago it was like 27C (80F) and humid, almost tropical, while yesterday I could have sworn it was going to snow soon.

So when I saw the piles of butternut squash at the farmers market yesterday, I didn’t think soup.  I thought coconut. 

With its gorgeous bright colours and this coconut, lime and cilantro dressing it’s hard not to imagine one's self far away from bizarre prairie weather, swinging on a hammock on some tropical beach at sunset with a ukulele playing in the background and the waves lapping on the shoreline… 

But the truly great part is that the primary ingredients are in season right now and can be gotten for almost a song at the farmers market, your CSA box, or free from your own garden if you are a lucky duck and happen to have one of those.

I like steaming squash.  It goes much faster than baking and uses less energy.  And the bright orange colour intensifies with steaming more so than baking.   

This whole salad took all of 15-20 minutes to make, with most of the time spent on peeling the squash (which I explain in more detail below). 

I just whipped this up yesterday but I think it would be quite flexible.  If I’d had cashews on-hand I would have tossed some of those on, or dried cranberries or even cooked quinoa to make it a well-rounded meal.  I garnished with some local mozza, but you can do away with the cheese for a dairy free option.

How to Peel Butternut Squash

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Salad:

1 Butternut squash
2 handfuls mixed greens for steaming (i.e. kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach)
A healthy slice of mozza or other cheese (optional)

Coconut Lime Dressing

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1.5 Tbsp lime juice
½ Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro + 1/2 Tbsp for garnish

Optional Additions

Assorted Cheese


1. To slice and peel squash and keep all fingers intact, with a very sharp knife cut squash in half.  Place cut end down on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife or peeler, peel downwards. 

Then slice each half in half again lengthwise, exposing the seeds.  With a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds.  Then slice in half-rounds and then into cubes, about 1" x 1".

2. In a steamer, or large pot with a metal strainer fitted over top, steam the butternut squash over boiling water until softened.  About 7 minutes.

3. In the meantime, mix the coconut oil and honey in a glass jar with tight lid and warm to soften and blend.  You can do this by placing the jar in a pot of warm water, or in the microwave for 15 secs.  Add the remaining salad dressing ingredients and shake the jar to blend the dressing.

4. Once the butternut squash is soft, remove and add the greens to the steamer.  Steam for approx. 2 minutes, until wilted and bright green.  Remove and toss with the squash, dressing and other optional ingredients and enjoy! 

Have extra steamed butternut squash?  Why not try these Spiced Butternut Squash Scones or this Spiced Butternut Squash Spread, a fantastic fall veggie dip!

How do you like YOUR butternut squash? If you have a recipe please feel free to share a link to your blog post below!

OAS INFO: Zucchini and other related squash are on the oral allergy syndrome list.  Steaming *should* help to denature the allergen proteins, making it safer to eat.  However, you could always bake the squash in the oven at 375F for 30-40 minutes as the high heat is more likely to render the squash safe to eat.  

Steamed Butternut Squash Fall Salad. 

Have you seen the latest novel in my romance series, Lady of the Caravan? Get it now, and follow the queen's cousin as she braves the dangers of Egypt's great desert to marry a nomadic chieftain. 

This post was shared on the following great sites: Musings of a Housewife, My Meatless MondayMelt in Your Mouth Monday, Monday ManiaJust Another Meatless Monday, Gluten Free Monday, Scratch Cookin' Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesdays,Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Real Food Wednesday, Eat Make Grow, Keep it Real Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursdays, Farm Girl Blog Fest, Fresh Bites Fridays, Freaky Friday, Gluten Free Friday, Fight Back Friday


  1. This looks so good! I love butternut squash; I'm going to try this recipe this week :)
    - Noelle

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Noelle. If you try it, I'd love to hear how you personalized it :)

  3. Yes, I definitely have to get myself some butternut squash while it's in season. That's a nice way to eat it, haven't ever had it in a salad before.

    I saw this post on Slightly Indulgent. I shared an apple protein donuts recipe, I'd love for you to check out as well :)

  4. Hi,
    Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Gluten-Free Community? Our members will appreciate it.
    Members include: Those living Gluten-Free, Gluten-Free Experts, Advocates and Organizations.
    It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also share Articles, News, Photos and Videos if you like.
    Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
    Please feel free to share as often and as much as you like.
    The Gluten-Free Community:
    I hope you consider sharing with us.
    Thank you,
    James Kaufman, Editor

  5. Hi Kammie, thanks for stopping by and sharing. Your doughnuts look great, and with some modifications, they could be made gluten free (I am, afterall, gluten intolerant!). Spelt and oats are generally NOT safe for us gluten sensitive folk, but when not alot of flour is called for other GF flours can be substituted :)

    James, thank you for stopping by and inviting me. I will look in to it.

  6. This is a lovely dish to view and sounds delicious too. It is being featured at My Meatless Mondays. C ome and visit.

  7. My vines are covered with butternut squash! Can't wait to try this. Thank you so much for linking up at Gluten-Free Monday on

  8. YUMMY, I love the idea of coconut lime! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! Thanks for helping get our party kicked off this week! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I hope that you'll join us this week! Cindy from


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