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My name's Emma, and I started PlantPlate in 2013 with the help of my husband Scott, a web developer and fellow plantivore. I’m a certified Plant-Based Nutritionist who loves to cook, and I've followed a plant-based diet for over a decade. Having lived in various locations throughout the world - sometimes on a shoestring budget, and often with irregular and demanding work schedules - I’ve had to constantly adapt my diet in order to make it work. It’s taught me a lot, and it’s motivated me to show others just how accessible and enjoyable this way of eating can be.

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Balsamic-Roasted Butternut and Chickpea Salad

Roasted butternut squash adds warmth and colour to this delicious, nutritious autumnal salad. Light but satisfying, it's perfect for lunch or as a dinner accompaniment.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Yield: Serves 2 as a light main; serves 4 as an accompaniment


This salad is hearty enough to serve two as a light meal. Alternatively, you can serve it as an accompaniment to another warm dish such as soup or chilli.

Sweet potatoes or yams can be substituted in place of the butternut squash, if preferred. If you want to make the salad ahead of time for a dinner party or picnic, simply leave the lemon-mustard dressing off, and add it just prior to serving.


  • 1 medium butternut squash (butternut pumpkin)
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. date puree (or substitute 2 tsp. pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 50g arugula / rocket
  • 2 cups mixed lettuce
  • 1 x 15 oz. (400g) can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 375°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel and de-seed butternut squash, and cut into even sized chunks. Place in a mixing bowl. In a small jar, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, date puree (or maple syrup), thyme, and water. Pour this over the butternut squash, and mix well so that all the pieces are coated. Spread out evenly on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. (Allow to cool slightly before using.)
  3. Meanwhile, place the lemon juice and mustard in a small bowl or jug and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. Place the baby spinach, arugula (rocket), lettuce, chickpeas, cucumber and cherry tomatoes in a large salad bowl. Add the baked butternut, chopped parsley, and lemon mustard dressing. Toss well to combine, and serve immediately.