Tag Archives: quinoa

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.

Dressing:
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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Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

12 Apr

This salad was an amazing addition to our simple dinner of grilled chicken and grilled toast last night.  Sweet potatoes and quinoa?  In a salad together?  What a nutritional coup!

Plus, it tasted really, really good.

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

The seasoning on the sweet potatoes is just enough to flavor them and the quinoa – without using salt or much olive oil.  And then the vinaigrette you pour on top… words cannot describe how perfect it is.  Its lemony freshness just brings that seasoning on the sweet potatoes to the forefront.  My favorite flavors were the combination of the lemon and the cumin, I believe.

This is the kind of dish that’s so tasty I’d serve it to company or take it to a church dinner.  Or keep it in the fridge all summer.  Hmmm…

In my hurry to get dinner on the table so we could eat, change the Little Guy, and leave in time to get coffee before church (all in about forty-five minutes), I did forget to mix in the green onions.  They’d add a nice punch of color and another layer of fresh flavor – so you be sure to add them!

We ate this salad cold – I like to think we could taste every single little seasoning better that way – but it would also be delish warm and freshly mixed together.

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
from Poppytalk – recipe below shows my few modifications
Makes 7 1/2-cup servings

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken stock
22 oz. sweet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Vinaigrette
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

1 green onion, sliced thinly
Optional toppings:  sliced toasted almonds, dried cranberries or feta cheese crumbles

Bring chicken stock to a boil and add quinoa. Cover and simmer until tender and mostly absorbed. Drain, fluff with a fork and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400.  Whisk together olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne.  Add in sweet potatoes and mix until evenly coated.  Sweet potatoes will look dry, not oily.  Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar, shake vigorously, and pour over salad.  If you have time, let the vinaigrette ingredients sit for a couple of hours so the flavors can really meld together.

In a serving dish, toss together the quinoa and baked sweet potatoes.  Pour dressing on top and toss.  Stir in green onions.

Nutritional facts per 1/2-cup serving: 174 calories; 5.2 g fat (.7 sat); 29 g carbs; 3.5 g fiber; 3 g protein