< 30 minutes, Dinner, Lunch, Sides & Snacks

Caramelized Warm Salad (Καραμελωμένη ζεστή σαλάτα)

caramelized warm salad, high protein, low calorie, vegan and gluten free! By itsaplantbasedlife.com

This recipe came together because of two things:
1. Im obsessed with everything caramelized at the moment.  The subtly sweet caramelized buttery squash & carrot, and the caramelized lentils with molasses, is seriously just bliss in the mouth.
2. I wanted to design a recipe which was high in protein, but light. Just one serving of this dish is low in carbohydrates (not that we dont like carbs – we love carbs, but some nights you just want something light!), gluten free, under 350 calories (without dressing) and with near 30gr of protein ! 😮

caramelized warm salad, high protein, low calorie, vegan and gluten free! By itsaplantbasedlife.com

This autumnal recipe is perfect for this time of year.. Its the end of summer, but its still kind of warm so you’re still enjoying salads, but its not that warm that you want cold food.  You know what i mean right?

I dont tend to dress this warm salad because when you serve the warm vegetables on top of the spinach, it wilts it slightly, and it tastes really good and juicy without it! But if you want a dressing, then i’d recommend using Michelle’s Tahini Dressing !

Give this a go, trust me you wont regret it!!

Caramelized Warm Salad

caramelized warm salad, high protein, low calorie, vegan and gluten free! By itsaplantbasedlife.com Make this warm salad so you can glow from the inside out 🙂 If you do want a dressing, use this one or find the link in the post text above!

  • Prep Time: 7m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 37m


  • 2 c or 320gr butternut squash, peeled & cut into medium sized cubes (or pumpkin) - 320γρ κολοκύθα κομμένη σε κύβους
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into thick "chip-like" strips - 2 μέτρια καρότα κομμένα σε λωρίδες
  • 2 tbsp. good quality vegan butter - 2κσ. φυτικό βούτυρο
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup - 2κσ. σιρόπι σφενδάμου
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary (or 1tsp dried) - 1,5 δεντρολίβανο
  • 3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds - 3κσ. κολοκυθόσπορο
  • 3/4 c dried green or brown lentils - 3/4φλτ. φακές ξηρές
  • 1 tsp. dried coriander - 1κγ. αποξηραμένος κόλιανδρος
  • 3 tsp. blackstrap molasses or carob syrup - 3κγ. μελάσα ή χαρουπόμελο
  • 1 c frozen peas - 1φλτ. μπιζέλι κατεψυγμένο
  • 350 g spinach leaves - σπανάχι
  • tahini dressing (optional - see link above) - ντρέσσινγκ με ταχίνι
  • 2 tbsp. dried goji berries (optional) - μούρα Γκότζι


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. While your oven is heating up, cut the carrot & squash. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan (or in a microwave) put together the butter, maple syrup and rosemary, and heat so that the butter melts (but does not over-heat!).
  3. Drizzle the warm butter all over your vegetables and with your hands massage them so they're all covered. Then put them onto the paper-lined baking tray in ONE layer, being careful NOT to overlap the veg. Season with salt & pepper
  4. Put these in heated oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Now, put your lentils in a saucepan with 1.3 cups water, a pinch of salt, the dried coriander and molasses. Allow it to come to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, add the peas, and cover with a lid.
  6. When the squash and carrot have been roasting for 20 minutes, turn them so that the opposite side is facing up. When your lentils have been simmering for 20 minutes they should be cooked al-dente. Drain, and leave them in the colander
  7. For the last 5 minutes of roasting, add the pumpkin seeds to the oven tray
  8. When the 30 minutes are up Assemble: Lay the spinach at the bottom of the plate and top with the warm lentils (the warm lentils will slightly wilt the spinach so you dont really need a dressing!). Top with your roasted vegetables, sliced avocado (if using) and pumpkin seeds


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