The Happy Belly Roasted Veggie Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)

With flu season in full swing, this grad student is on operation "do not get sick." I'm sleeping in when I can, taking my vitamins and giving my body lots of TLC. What many people don't know, though, is that gut health can drastically impact your immune health...which means there's no better time than the present to start adding foods for gut health into your diet!

So, of course, that’s how this happy belly gluten free salad was born. And, not to brag, but gut health has never tasted so scrumptious! Tender roasted sweet potatoes and Yukon potatoes combine with crunchy mixed greens and almonds, juicy roasted veggies, creamy chickpeas and avocado and a slightly sweet apple cider vinegar dressing to give you the best of all flavorful worlds.

The Happy Belly Roasted Veggie Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)

But what makes this roasted veggie salad such a yummy edition to any gut health diet? Let’s start with the veggies. There is a ton of information out there about the best foods for gut health, but most experts agree that plant-based sources of fiber get a thumbs up. Why? This insoluble fiber is a form of prebiotics, or fuel keeps the probiotics in your system extra energized and healthy. If you love beets, you're especially in luck, since they're one of the most potent sources of probiotics.  

What other prebiotic powerhouses included in this gluten free roasted veggie salad? Chickpeas (yay for legumes!) and almonds. Meanwhile, potatoes that are cooked and then cooled before eating are actually high in resistant starch, which is another happy belly ingredient. Add some raw apple cider vinegar (fermented apples = yay probiotics!), and this roasted veggie salad is packed with foods to keep your gut - and immune system - happy. 

The Happy Belly Roasted Veggie Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)

It also doesn’t hurt that this gluten free salad is super easy to make, and it tastes just as delicious whipped up a few days in advance (just don’t add the dressing until a few hours before, at most). Hello food prep heaven!


Ready to dive into your own bowl of delicious, gut health goodness? Start by gathering the ingredients below. The serving sizes are up to you - just make as much of each ingredient that you want, depending on if you’re food prepping for the week, feeding a family of three, only making one dinner for yourself, etc.

The Happy Belly Roasted Veggie Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Ingredients for the Happy Belly Gluten Free Salad: 

Big handful of mixed greens
Several medium Yukon potatoes
One sweet potato
Veggies for roasting (I used zucchini, squash, sliced beets)
Almonds, or choice of other seed or nut
Chickpeas or alternate form of protein
Avocado (optional)
Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with "the mother"
Thyme, oregano or other favorite spice

How to Make Your Roasted Veggie Salad:

If you want to cool your potatoes before eating, start by cooking your potatoes. I used the microwave (hashtag grad student life!) but you can cook your sweet potato and Yukon potatoes however you like. You could also cook these the night before you want to enjoy your gluten free salad, leaving them to chill (pun intended) in the fridge overnight. 

The Happy Belly Roasted Veggie Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Once your potatoes are cooked or cooking, you can whip together your roasted veggies. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, but sliced squash, zucchini and beets were especially delicious in my gluten free salad! When I roast my veggies, I don’t use any oil; I just slice them, lay them on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until tender and beginning to brown (this usually takes around 18-20 minutes, depending on the oven and how thick you slice your veggies). 

While your veggies roasting, you can gather your other ingredients of chickpeas, one (optional but super delicious) ripe avocado and roughly chopped almonds. This is also a good time to make your “gluten free salad dressing.” I put that in quotation marks because my dressing recipe is actually super simple: some pure apple cider vinegar and a shake of seasoning (I used thyme). Personally, I think apple cider vinegar offers a sharp hit of sweetness on its own. If you want to tone down the apple cider vinegar flavor, you could experiment with adding olive oil and/or some form of sweetener like agave nectar to the dressing.

The Happy Belly Roasted Veggie Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)

After your potatoes and roasted veggies are cooked, you can start building your roasted veggie salad! Cover a plate or bowl with several handfuls of mixed greens. Then, layer on your desired amount of roasted veggies, cooled potatoes, chickpeas (or alternative form of legume/protein) and avocado, if using. Sprinkle the chopped almonds on your salad and drizzle some apple cider vinegar dressing. All you have to do next is enjoy! 

As always, feel free to customize this roasted veggie salad to your heart’s (and stomach’s) desire. There are tons of gluten free salad recipes online to find inspiration from, and there are plenty of other foods for gut health - like asparagus, mushrooms, fermented or pickled veggies, etc - you could try adding. 
When you’re trying to stay healthy during the start of fall and flu season, you may usually focus on making external changes, like washing your hands even more often or staying away from sick friends. However, nothing says TLC like a gluten free dinner recipe that is just as delicious as it is good for you and your gut health.

The Happy Belly Roasted Veggie Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)


And if I end up eating this roasted veggie salad for dinner five days in a row? Well, that’s just proof that leftovers = amazing...and my belly certainly won’t mind! 

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What are you tips and tricks for staying healthy during flu season? What are your favorite foods for gut health? Tell me in the comments! 

Comments

  1. Oh wow this looks yummy, thanks for sharing

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  2. A salad worthy of taking the time to make! Delicious!

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  3. Wow! This looks delicious! Pinned for later!

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  4. Yum! I'd never think to add sweet potato to salad. It looks delicious!

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  5. That's my kind of salad! I love that it's overflowing with goodness. Can't wait to treat myself to a bowl ��. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous recipe!

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  6. this looks fabulous! We will be adding this to the rotation!

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  7. I absolutely love beets. In fact I'm about to cook some right now. They're so delish. This is a great salad. Love it.

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