Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Hello everyone!

Summer is ending soon but that doesn’t mean salads are completely off the table.

Recently, I really started to LOVE quinoa! I’ve alwIMG_7100ays been a lover of rice and grains but didn’t begin my affair with quinoa until after this recipe (now I’m obsessed).

This recipe is super easy to make and will take you about 40 minutes to prepare. The colors in this salad are perfect for fall and will satisfy your hunger one hundred percent. This recipe will serve four hungry people but will also be great as a side dish where you could probably get six people happily served.

I apologize for the poor lighting in these pictures ahead of time–I moved into an apartment and their is a bright yellow light right over the kitchen area that doesn’t really do to much to make this recipe look presentable.

As I always say in my recipe directions, please feel free to make this your own. Add more or less cranberries if you’d like, or even add in slices of basil if you’re feeling extra classy with your cooking today 😉

For this butternut squash quinoa recipe you will need:IMG_7079 (1)

  • one butternut squash (big enough to make 3 cups chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt and pepper (the amount is up to you)

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tps. honey
  • 1 tps. dijon mustard
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • salt and pepper (once again, up to you)

Directions:

  1. Oven get’s preheated to 400F.
  2. After butternut squash is chopped, put in a medium size bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and spread over a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 25 minutes until squash is tender and golden brown.
  3. While squash is cookin’ away, rinse quinoa by placing in a small bowl with water. Mix with your hands (water will turn a silky white). The easiest way to drain the water is to cup one of your hands under the edge of the bowl and allow water to flow gently around and through your fingers, being careful the quinoa won’t fall out. Repeat until water is clear.
  4. In a medium pot, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil along with the quinoa. Reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover for 20 minutes or until water is fully absorbed.
  5. To assemble the salad, combine cooked quinoa, roasted squash, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds in a medium bowl. Mix in the dressing and allow salad to cool before serving. (add salt and pepper as you please).

Balsamic dressing:

  1. Whisk in all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Add salt and pepper as you wish.

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