We’re getting personal today. The story you’re about to read does not add to the flavour of this roasted carrot and squash salad. If you don’t fancy sticking around just click up there to jump to the recipe, I won’t judge.

In case you’re reading from outside of the UK, and are unaware, the UK is currently in lockdown. We have been in lockdown for several weeks. I’ve lost count of exactly how many weeks, but it feels like an eternity.

Earlier this week…

I woke up in a bit of a funk and just couldn’t shift it, which is perfectly normal during these times. I encourage you to allow yourself to feel down in the dumps actively. We are living in genuinely wild times, and it’s perfectly acceptable and expected not to know how to feel at times. I decided to go for a stroll to the shops to get a few bits and pieces for recipes I’m working on, to stretch my legs, and just have a moment of fresh air.

During my trip, and after the acquisition of some brown rice flour, a mixed bag of peppers and a block of tofu (amongst other things) I decided I’d give my mum a call. I’ve spoken to her every day since lockdown began, it’s 5 – 10 minutes of my day that I really enjoy.

On the phone to my mum, some absolute scumbag rode past me on a bike, snatched my phone, and cycled away. I started to run, and then decided 1) I’m not that fit and nimble and 2) what happens if I catch the douchebag and he decides to stab me—dramatic, perhaps, but also a perfectly reasonable thought to enter my mind.

I was well and truly DEVASTATED and properly shaken. This incident only happened about four days ago. Thankfully (and perhaps also even more devastatingly) I had only recently got my new phone, so I had my old phone still which I’m now using.

What’s the resolution? A carrot and squash salad?

What’s this got to do with a bloody carrot and squash and salad I hear you scream. Well, I’m getting to it.

carrot lentil and squash salad in a bowl
Roasted Carrot and Squash with lentils, kale, rocket, walnuts and parsley.

In true JPLongland style, and to cheer myself up, I decided I was going to order the DSLR camera. I had my eye on it for the past few weeks. I decided that it was cheaper than replacing the phone I had just had snatched from my ear, and it was a good investment because I’m taking this food blogging lark very seriously.

When my camera arrived, I wanted something vibrant (and also cold) that I could play with and photograph while I got to grips with the new camera. DSLR cameras are very different from pointing, shooting and composing with a Pixel 4 XL camera.

JPLongland's DSLR set up

The takeaways and lessons from this situation?

  1. I am grateful that I came out of the situation physically unharmed
  2. Don’t phone your mum in the street, wait until you’re home.
  3. I am very fortunate that I am in a position to stress-buy myself a camera on a whim cause I was feeling very sad
  4. I created a vibrant, carrot and squash salad, and it’s absolutely delicious and I hope you enjoy it.
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carrot lentil and squash salad in a bowl

Carrot and Squash Salad

  • Author: JPLongland
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Orange + Green salad is packed with flavour, nutrients and healthiness. It’s the perfect light lunch, or fabulous as the co-star of a bigger meal.



  • 3 carrots
  • 1 butternut squash (just the neck)
  • 100 ml olive oil – plus two tablespoons for tossing squash and carrots
  • 100 g kale – roughly two large handfuls
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ lemon
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 50 g rocket
  • 10 g parsley
  • 250 g cooked puy lentils


  1. preheat oven to 200 Celcius. Chop the neck off the squash, reserving the base for another time. Peel and dice the squash, and quarter the carrots. Toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt + pepper and roast for  30 minutes.
  2. Get a pan of salted water on to boil. Once at a rolling boil, add the kale and cook for  3 minutes. Drain into a colander and run under cold water. Once the kale is cool enough to handle, squeeze all the water out using your hands, and make a ball.
  3. Place rocket, parsley and kale onto a chopping board and roughly chop. Add the chopped vegetables to a bowl. Roughly chop the walnuts, and add to the bowl, along with the cooked lentils.
  4. Remove the carrots and squash from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled, add the mixture to the bowl with the rest of the salad.
  5. To make the dressing; finely chop a garlic clove, and mix with olive oil, maple syrup, the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt.

  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Salad

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