Moroccan Chickpeas and Roasted Squash Fall Salad

Fall Salad

Here Come the Holidays!!

Fall Salad

The trees in town are sparkling with lights and every commercial is telling you to buy a car for Christmas… I’m not sure I know anyone who would surprise someone with a car, but anywho…  This is a time of year for celebrations, family gatherings, being thankful and continuing traditions. Unfortunately, it’s also often a time of overindulgence and unwanted “holiday” weight gain… An unnecessary part of the holiday season.

Here in the AdventureBloom’s house, we place high value on our health. Eating well is always important, but enjoying our time with friends and family, without worrying about what we’re eating, is also important. It is possible to enjoy the holiday season AND keep your health and weight in check.


Here are some tips to help you survive the holiday season with your health intact!

Get enough sleep

I know, easier said than done, but a lack of sleep can decrease immune function, lead to less activity—nobody wants to exercise when they’re exhausted—and can actually cause you to eat more. Yes, sleep deprivation can mess with your hunger and fullness hormones, making you feel hungrier throughout the day.

  • A few tips to get more meaningful shut-eye:
    • Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed. Our phones and TV emit a type of light that actual wakes us up! Instead, try reading or coloring to help you wind down.
    • Develop a nightly routine. Even us adults can benefit from a bedtime routine. It signals to our brains – “Hey! It’s time for bed!”
    • Keep to your sleep schedule. It’s so easy to sleep in (snooze is my best friend sometimes), especially when kids are on break or you don’t have to go to work. But waking up at different times can really confuse our internal clocks. That internal ticker is anchored by our wake time, so waking up at the same time everyday (even on weekends) can help keep things in balance and can actually help you sleep better at night!

Don’t save up calories

It’s a common thought to ‘save up’ calories for a big feast by skipping meals, but this can put us in the danger zone. When we skip meals in preparation for a feast, we often end up overindulging and may feel guilty later on. This idea also doesn’t allow us to eat mindfully. Rather than ‘saving up’, try to eat balanced meals throughout the day. Aim for half of your plate to be non-starchy vegetables, add in a high-fiber starch and some high-quality protein. This will allow you to still enjoy that bigger meal, without stuffing yourself until you feel sick.

Focus on your favorites

Aunt Marge’s pumpkin pie calling your name? I get that. And luckily we don’t have to avoid our holiday favorites. Actually, restricting these foods can make cravings worse and make you feel guilty when you end up giving in. Rather than restricting, make room for the good stuff by crowding out the stuff that’s not up to par. Pass on those potato chips (you can have those chips any time of the year), and that biscuit that looks hard as a rock… Leave room for the things that you truly love instead. And savor every last bite of that yummy pumpkin pie!

Go easy on the alcohol

It’s pretty well-known that alcohol can lower inhibitions, often times leading to more eating and more drinking. Alcohol can also pack in extra calories right under your nose. Change it up! Try a seltzer water with cranberry juice for a non-alcohol alternative. Sipping slowly on an alcoholic beverage can also help you drink less. Drink a glass of water between drinks to keep you hydrated. Or try choosing a simple vodka seltzer with lime to keep the added sugar at bay.

Fall Salad

Get some activity!

Even in the winter, it’s important to move your body. After all, a body in motion stays in motion. Now, the idea here isn’t to burn off the extra calories we took in from that cookie we just ate. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Rather, we want to promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle (and hopefully be a good role model to those around us). Staying active is a key part of that picture.  Here in the mountains of Colorado, we love to cross country ski, snowshoe and do yoga on the bitter cold days. What activities do you enjoy in the winter?

Want more tips? We have those!

It all starts at the grocery store! Set yourself up right by leaving junk food OUT of your shopping cart. Keep fruits and veggies in the house for easy snacks and meals. Apple and peanut butter anyone? Check out all our recipes for more veggie-based meals – a great starting point! But if all else fails, give yourself some grace and restart. There’s no need to wait until January 1st to start being active and eating right. Check out our absolutely delicious—and super healthy!—Moroccan Chickpea and Roasted Squash Fall Salad. A light and filling dinner to help you get on the right track!


Moroccan Chickpea and Roasted Squash Fall Salad

  • Author: AdventureBlooms
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


Warm, flavor-packed, light and filling. This Moroccan Chickpea and Roasted Squash Fall Salad is packed with greens, acorn squash, pomegranate seeds, avocado and an apple Dijon vinaigrette.


  • 1 bunch greens (spinach or kale), washed and patted dry
  • 1 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed, and sliced
    • Seasonings for acorn squash
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 1 teaspoon cumin
      • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
      • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
      • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
      • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • Seasonings for chickpeas
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
      • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
      • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 avocado, sliced
    • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
    • 1/4 cup pecans
    • Dressing:
      • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
      • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
      • 1 teaspoon honey
      • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread out squash in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasons, stirring to coat squash. Roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare spiced chickpeas: heat medium skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once oil is hot, add spices, stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas and stir to coat with spices. Cook 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare dressing: in a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard and honey, slowly whisk in olive oil until combined.
  5. Assemble salad with greens, squash, chickpeas, avocado, pomegranate seeds, pecans and dressing. Enjoy!

What are some things you do during the holidays to keep on track with your health goals?