Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad

 

I’ve been on a quinoa kick a lot lately.  I really try to eat it as often as I can.  It is light and fluffy.  It’s not too filling and it has 8 of the essential amino acids that our bodies need which makes it one of the only foods that are a complete protein.

That’s a big deal.

My son is very actively involved in sports and is always looking for MORE protein.  He can work out as much as 6 hours in a day between the 2 sports he’s involved in so it’s important to me that he get the nutrients, minerals and vitamins he needs to stay healthy.

This Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad is a great snack for him to refuel.  I personally eat it for lunch along with some other roasted veggies or a side salad.

It is very low in sodium.  It has no cholesterol and is a great source of protein, magnesium and Phosphorus.

Roasting the squash brings out it’s flavor so beautifully.  The important thing to remember when roasting the squash is to leave enough room on the baking sheet so the squash will roast and not steam.  In other words, don’t overcrowd the pan.

I guess this would traditionally be considered a fall recipe with the butternut squash and the dried cherries.  But I really enjoy this during the summer straight out of the fridge.  But iff turning the oven on during these hot months is an issue, you can always cut the squash into large chunks and grill it.  🙂

The squash and quinoa get tossed together with some slivered almonds, dried cherries and red onion.  The best part is the delicious balsamic vinaigrette that goes on top.  It has some honey in it and Dijon mustard as well.

Let it soak it all up in the fridge for a bit and you can serve it cold or warm.

roasted-butternut-squash-quinoa-salad


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Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa (red or white)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water (or broth)
  • 1 Butternut Squash, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Red Onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 Cup Toasted Slivered Almonds
  • salt and black pepper

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • ½ Cup Olive Oil
  • ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • drizzle of Pure Maple Syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to between 425-450°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and arrange the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer leaving plenty of room so it doesn’t steam. This may require 2 baking sheets
  3. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, checking every few minutes after until the squash is tender and browned
  4. Meanwhile, rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear, (this is an essential step as the quinoa will have a bitter taste if it’s not rinsed first)
  5. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan, add the quinoa and reduce to a simmer, and cook partially covered until the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside until ready to assemble
  6. Combine the quinoa, butternut squash, cranberries, red onion, and slivered almonds in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill in the refrigerator

Recipe Source:  HappilyUnprocessed.com
I used all organic ingredients when possible when making this recipe and hope you do too!  🙂

 

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