Warm Fall Quinoa Salad

Helloooooo fall!!

Let’s just take a moment to talk about how it’s November and the high is 70 degrees. Umm what?? I don’t know how I landed in this dream but, MinneSNOWta – please don’t wake me up yet!

Fall is my favorite season. I just love the crisp cool air, big cozy sweaters and warm colors. The flavors of fall turn everything into a feel-good comfort food – sweet and savory squashes, creamy soups and warm spices. You might as well leave a crock-pot out on the counter at all times, it’s that time of year!

This recipe is not a crock-pot recipe, but doesn’t take long to throw together. Especially if you make the quinoa and/or squash ahead of time. This is the kind of meal you just throw together one day with the ingredients you have on hand. I love that about quinoa. It goes with anything. Try out this recipe and then play around with what you could add or substitute for a different flavor or texture. Maybe add crumbled goat cheese or a different kind of dressing.

Warm Quinoa Salad
 
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry quinoa (you’ll have some leftover)
  • 1 bunch green kale (get rid of the hard stems)
  • 1 small butternut squash or delicata squash
  • Handful of pecans
  • Handful of dried cranberries
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Cook the squash first since it will take the longest. If using Delicata Squash: Cut in half the long way and scrape out the seeds and guts and discard. Place in a pan face down with a little olive oil on the bottom to prevent sticking. Roast in 350 degree oven for about 20 min. Use a knife to get it out of the skin once it’s cooked and cut into cubes.
  2. If using Butternut Squash: Peel and cut in half. Cut into small cubes. Discard the seeds. Toss in olive oil and roast in 350 degree oven for about 30 min.
  3. While Squash is cooking, place 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. When done, all the broth should be absorbed and the quinoa will turn fluffy. Save the extra as an already prepared base for meals the rest of the week!
  4. Sautee kale in a pan with olive oil and salt.
  5. Toss all ingredients together and top with balsamic vinegar and more olive oil if needed. S & P to taste.

Now, in true fall fashion, pour yourself a mug of hot cider and light your cinnamon scented candle while you put together this healthy and comforting fall meal!