Spinach Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Spinach Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #paleo

 As the temperatures drop and we get closer to the holidays, I like to stock my pantry with flavorful herbs, spices and specialty oils. My “can’t-go-without” list looks like this:

Pumpkin pie spice
Cinnamon sticks
Ground cinnamon
Dried thyme
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Cocoa Powder
Black peppercorns
Pumpkin seed oil
Black truffle oil

I like to purchase my herbs and spices in larger quantities (usually one-pound bags) and store the excess in airtight, labeled containers in the freezer. It helps save money and I’m hardly ever without one of my favorite ingredients.

I want to highlight more companies who create and sell foods made without unnecessary processing or additives, so I contacted Mountain Rose Herbs. I asked for permission to showcase and give away of some of my favorite ingredients.  Mountain Rose Herbs sells spices, organic oils, loose leaf teas, herbs and other foods. They also offer carrier oils, tinctures, and body and facial products. I’ve been a customer for over five years and have always enjoyed their products.

When I buy herbs and spices, it’s very important to me they’re organic, but I also ensure they haven’t been irradiated. Irradiation is a process through which ionizing radiation in the form of gamma rays, x-rays, or electrons are used to kill bacteria in food. Irradiation, however, can destroy many of the vitamins in foods (between 5 and 80 percent!). According to The Center for Food Safety, irradiation also doubles the amount of trans-fat in beef, which increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Irradiation can even damage the natural digestive enzymes in raw foods. These foods look fresh and are allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration to be labeled “fresh”, but are closer nutritionally to cooked foods with decreased vitamins and enzymes.

Why would anyone irradiate foods? Irradiation dramatically increases the shelf life of products. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any long-term studies investigating whether irradiated foods are safe for human health. In America, irradiated food is only labeled if it’s “materially changed.” Consumer and natural food advocates want to change the regulations, allowing consumers to know if products are irradiated. In response, food companies have suggested labeling irradiated foods as “pasteurized” – a completely different process, but a term they believe consumers would more easily accept.

For further reading about irradiation:

What’s Wrong with Food Irradiation?
Comments of Consumers Union on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Docket No. 2005N-0272, “Irradiation in the Production, Processing and Handling of Food”
Food Irradiation
Irradiation: A Sneak Attack on School Lunches

Mountain Rose Herbs sells all sorts of pure, organic, non-irradiated spices and herbs. I’ve used them to stock my pantry for years. They’ve graciously offered to give the pictured collection of my favorites to one Deliciously Organic reader. Good luck!

To enter:
1. Please leave a comment below between today, October 15th and Sunday, October 21st at 11:59 pm.
2. The two winners will be chosen via random.org and will be notified via email. Each winner has three days to respond before being disqualified and replaced by a new winner.
3. Contest open to US residents only.

Optional Extra Entries (Please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1. If you’re a fan of Deliciously Organic on Facebook, please leave a comment below letting me know.
2. Follow Mountain Rose Herbs on Twitter. Leave a comment below letting me know you’re a follower.
3. If you follow Mountain Rose Herbs on Facebook, please leave a comment letting me know.

If you’re looking for a way to use your newly-acquired pumpkin seed oil, try this lovely spinach salad.

Spinach Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Serving Size: Serves 4

Spinach Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash


    For the Roasted Onions and Squash:

  • 1 red onion, sliced thin

  • 1 small butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1/2” cubes

  • 2 tablespoons ghee, melted

  • Celtic sea salt
  • For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • For the Vegetables:

  • 5 ounces baby spinach, washed and patted dry

  • 1/4 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese


Preheat oven to 400ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Toss red onion and butternut squash with ghee and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Season with sea salt. Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and then roast for an additional 10 minutes until edges are just golden brown. Cool to room temperature.

Whisk olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, honey, balsamic vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Place spinach, seeds, blue cheese, onions and squash in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over and toss well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve immediately.

Deliciously Organic contacted Mountain Rose Herbs about reviewing their products and was given several products for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your costs will be the same but Deliciously Organic will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support! 


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  1. Christy

    I just received an order from Mountain Rose Herbs last week, and I have to say, they’re wonderful! Such a wonderful selection of unique and healthful products, and their prices are unbeatable, especially for organic! Most of what I purchased was to make homemade cosmetics and cleaning supplies, but now I’ll definitely have to take a look at their spices. Thanks for sharing more about them!

  2. Tracy Stone

    Herbs and spices are one of the things I’ve been wondering about lately. Looks like I need to switch to organic with those, too! Sounds like they can be organic but irradiated, too? Didn’t know that, so thanks for that info. Now I can order from this company! Just need to think ahead a little…

  3. Erika

    Thanks for the chance to win, and for introducing us to this brand.

    For what it’s worth, I really appreciate your sharing the brands you use with your readers – very helpful.

    The packaging Mountain Rose Herbs uses is so pretty, too!

  4. Katie Brown

    I am new to the world of local and organic food and am having so much fun learning about it all! I have swapped so much of my food out for the ‘real’ stuff and am moving on to spices now! I am a big fan of Deliciously Organic and wanted to thank you for recommending Mountain Rose Herbs:)

  5. Kristin

    I’ve read a vague mention here and there about irradiation but haven’t paid much attention–yikes! (You’d think “-radiation” in relation to my food would be enough make me look closer.) Thanks for focusing on this method and providing the links with extra info. ~K

  6. Grace

    I just recently discovered Mountain Rose Herbs and became a fan on FB. Their products are wonderful and very reasonably priced. I am also a fan of yours on FB. Love all your daily articles and lovely recipes! Keep it up!

  7. Debbie Germano

    Dear Carrie,
    Thank you for the chance to win the lovely products from Mountain Rose Herbs! I discovered your website about one year ago when I did a search for homemade flavored coffee creamers. I love your recipe for Pumpkin Spice creamer and I share it with everyone….the recipe too! I have learned so much from you and I recommend your site often! Thank you for all of your hard work that makes it easier for us to eat healthier and work to make our food safer!
    Debbie Germano
    Syracuse, NY

  8. Vicki N

    I think this is a great giveaway, and I am a fan of Deliciously Organic on Facebook. Now that I know about Mountain Rose Herbs, I am going to look them up on FB and follow. Hopefully I will actually get their posts! Thanks for this opportunity!

  9. Jan who gardens

    I just found you! Our WAPF-South Bay, yahoo group, just posted your grain-free graham crackers.
    I defeated cancer with alternate and organic. Lately, cause of elderly parent care, I find myself compromising. I am typing this with a headache. Thank you for your site.

  10. Karen

    Oh my goodness, I feel like I’m the last one to the party! Well I hope that increases my chances of winning. I recently received the Mountain Rose Herb Catalog, I can’t wait to place an order, but, I’m going to wait to see if I win, first. Thanks!

  11. Alexandria

    I just discovered your website and I am in love! For the past 2 years I have been making an effort to feed my family organic. The change began with the birth of my daughter when I realized what non-organic foods could do to her little body. I am so excited to try your recipes, and looking forward to cutting down on the grain in our diet with your suggestions! I also love mountain rose herbs for their teas and herbal products, but have not tried their herbs and would love too! Thanks so much!

  12. Nancy

    Even though I’ve always prepared most of my family’s food “from scratch”, I’ve just begun to completely rid my home of processed and altered food products. It’s quite a process! Some new spices would be a great addition.

  13. mary i

    I haven’t purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs before, but their products look wonderful. I get some of my organic/non irradiated spices/herbs from my local health food store, but Mountain Rose has so many other products I would love to try.

  14. Jill

    I’ve been checking out Mountain Rose Herbs and they’ve been out of a few things I want (thinking of making my own skincare) but I look forward to trying some of their products. Thanks for the info.

  15. brittany sedmock

    I am a baby in this organic game, so Im still very unaware of some of these processes that food companies use. I have to say your web-site has been amazing in my switch to an Organic and overall healthier lifestyle, so Thank You so much for all the great resources, info, recipes and contests you provide on this great website!


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