Autumn Maple Salad

By Alexandra Caspero on November 8, 2013

Colorful and nutrient-rich fall salad! Maple Roasted Delicata squash toss with a simple spinach salad. 

Since we already welcomed fall on Monday, it’s only fitting we continue with that theme today.

Since I first experimented with this salad a few weeks ago, I cannot stop eating it!
I prep all of the ingredients ahead of time to quickly throw together after my weeknight yoga or spin classes. While I love teaching after work, I hate the mad rush to get home and get dinner on the table. I’m usually dancing a fine line between hungry and ravenous so the time from prep to table needs to be 20 minutes or less.

This salad works as both a pre-yoga lunch and a post-cycle dinner. Plant-based carbs are my jam! My secret is the nutrition one-two punch I get from using 100% all-natural maple syrup as my sweetener instead of sugar, agave or the like.

Why maple?

Unlike other simple sweeteners, pure maple syrup contains 54 different antioxidant compounds, essential to preventing oxidative damage. Besides its antioxidant power, maple syrup is also an excellent source of manganese and zinc-great for muscle recovery, and potassium-regulates fluid balance.

This salad is not only full of healthy, natural carbohydrates, it also contains essential antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. A win-win-win. I would much rather eat this for my pre-workout fuel than a packaged option. Looking for more of post-workout protein boost? Add baked tofu, white beans or grilled tempeh on top.

I call for 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, not imitation breakfast syrup that is usually corn-syrup with some coloring and maple flavor added. For authentic flavor and taste, use the real stuff.

What are your favorite pre/post workout meals?

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 


DK’s Fall Salad

  • Author: Alex Caspero MA, RD
  • Category: salad, entree, main, lunch, dinner


Colorful and nutrient-rich fall salad! Maple Roasted Delicata squash toss with a simple spinach salad.

  • Author: Alex Caspero MA, RD
  • Category: salad, entree, main, lunch, dinner
  • Author: Alex Caspero MA, RD
  • Category: salad, entree, main, lunch, dinner


  • 2 Delicata squash, sliced into rings, seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp. 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/81/4 tsp. salt


Make the Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss squash with 2 tbsp. maple syrup, 1 tbsp. olive oil and salt/pepper
  3. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Make the Dressing:

  1. Combine all ingredients together, except for the olive oil, and blend together. I do this in my magic bullet or food processor.
  2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until thick, emulsified, and creamy.
  3. Taste for seasoning. It may need more salt depending on your taste.

Make the Salad:

  1. In a large bowl toss together the spinach, cranberries, pecans and 1/2 cup dressing.
  2. Plate, top with roasted squash.
  3. Drizzle with extra dressing.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge


This post was sponsored by Pure Canada Maple Syrup. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Elle
      November 10, 2013 AT 1:38 am

      I’m a pretty big believer in using real maple syrup and not the imitation stuff. It definitely has a lot more nutritional benefits than sugar syrup. I’m from Canada, so it is also a big deal over here.

      I’ve never tried it in a salad, so this really intrigued me. I think it will be really delicious with the dijon mustard.

      My favourite part of this has to be the delicata squash. Not only is the flavour great, but when cut into rings, it’s so beautiful!

      I love putting dried cranberries in salads. However, I find it almost a tad to sweet for my liking and have been having troubles finding unsweetened cranberries. Perhaps I can try to make my own.

      1. DK
        November 11, 2013 AT 3:27 pm

        Thanks Elle, me too! I dislike any imitation maple sweeteners, they taste so fake! Pure maple syrup is divine 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Hannah
      November 8, 2013 AT 7:48 pm

      I simply adore delicata! The rings are so beautiful, and the flavor goes beautifully with both sweet and savory pairings, as you’ve easily demonstrated in this fresh salad.

    3. Kale
      November 8, 2013 AT 11:40 am

      Love it. I’ve been experimenting with maple syrup quite a bit recently. Another idea!