Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

8 Nov

Need a break from stick-to-your-ribs, wintery foods?  Be honest:  are your jeans telling you need a break from the heavy, beefy, cheesy foods that I, for one, crave as our days get shorter?

My jeans are being brutally honest.  Sigh.  Some things in life you can just count on, and honesty from your jeans is one of them.  Here’s a salad for those face-the-truth days.

 BUT this is not a salad that makes you sad you’re eating a salad.  I reveled in it, I really did.  I plan on getting it on our Thanksgiving table.

It’s fresh and bright.  The celery adds a nice little crunch, but what I most loved was the parsley.  Weird, right?  It’s just so… peppery and confident.  How I want to feel in my jeans, if you must know.

Let me tell you a few things.  This salad is delish scooped up with a spoon.  But I’d also like to try it wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla, and scooped up with tortilla chips.  Hit it with a little chili oil if you’re feeling the need for some spice.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad
makes about 2 servings
2 c cooked quinoa
1/4 c minced yellow onion (mince it so fine you can practically see through it)
1/3 c minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 c finely diced celery
1 c roasted cinnamon-nutmeg butternut squash*

Mix all ingredients gently.

1/2 c freshly-squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk ingredients together.  Pour over salad one tablespoon at a time, until well-coated but not soggy.  I used 5 tablespoons, which left a little less than 1/4 c dressing for later use.

* Peel butternut squash and chop in half lengthwise.  Remove seeds and membranes.  Dice evenly.  Toss with a few tablespoons coconut oil (no need to melt it first).  Season liberally with cinnamon, and lightly with nutmeg.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for about 35 minutes at 375.

Funny side note?  The orange I found in our fridge was about 2 weeks old.  I zested it when I made Cranberry Orange Butter and then let it lie.  Embarrassing, but true.


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