Butternut Squash Pomegranate Quinoa Salad


Butternut Squash Pomegranate Quinoa Salad


Everyone seems to love a good quinoa recipe, and it’s no secret as to why. Quinoa is high in protein, lacks gluten and has incredible versatility. With quinoa, the possibilities are endless, making it a perfect base for those who want to get a little creative in the kitchen. While I definitely have a few staple quinoa dishes I like to turn to, I felt like it was time to create some new combinations to add to the list.


Butternut Squash Pomegranate Quinoa Salad


To be completely honest with you, it has been awhile since I have made a batch of quinoa outside of my Quinoa Stuffed Avocados. Ben and I went through a little phase of all quinoa, all the time, and we both started to get a little burned out on it, especially when we discovered the awesomeness that is millet (I am telling you, millet is where it is at! Think couscous, but heartier and healthier!). Anyway, after a little time apart, I felt like it was time to return to quinoa, but this time with a twist from what we usually seem to do. SO WORTH IT! This quinoa salad is so different from anything I have made with quinoa in the past, and Ben and I both agreed that this recipe needed to be added to the rotation. The combination of cinnamon roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, green onions and flat leaf parsley are fantastic together, but what really pulls this entire salad together is the pomegranate maple vinaigrette I concocted for this. Not only is this dressing delicious on this salad, it is also amazing on traditional salad too! I know this because I tried it, so I can say that with confidence :)

Give this a try and let me know your thoughts!

Butternut Squash Pomegranate Quinoa Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: american
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2-4
 

A delicious twist on quinoa salad
Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash; peeled and cut into chunks (directions below, or skip and buy prepared squash chunks)
  • 1 cup quinoa; soaked and rinsed (I used red, but you can use any variety)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup green onions; finely sliced
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley; chopped
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Ground rock salt to taste (I used pink Himalayan salt)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • ***Dressing:***
  • 2 Tbsp. 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. pomegranate vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 415F.
  2. ***Peeling and Seeding a Squash***
  3. Slice the neck off the squash, as it’s easier to work with in two pieces.
  4. Stand the neck on its end, flat side down. With a knife, slice off the skin, starting at the top and slicing down. Try to take off all the skin, leaving as much of the orange flesh as possible.
  5. Now that your ‘neck’ is peeled, slice 1″ rounds out of the squash and cut those rounds into cubes.
  6. For the bottom of your squash, place it cut-side down, and with your knife at an angle, slice off the skin working top to bottom.
  7. Cut the peeled bottom in half, cutting through all the seeds inside, then grab a spoon and dig all of the seeds out.
  8. Working with one half at a time, place the cut side down and cut it into 1″ slices. Repeat with the other half, then cube slices into chunks.
  9. ***Cooking:***
  10. Place cubed squash in an oven safe baking dish or on a cookie sheet in a single, even layer. Spray squash with your choice of non-stick cooking spray and lightly season with ground rock salt and cinnamon. Toss to coat.
  11. Bake squash on middle rack of oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until squash is tender. Flip squash every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooking.
  12. In a medium saucepan bring vegetable broth to a boil. When ready, add in quinoa and return to a boil. Cover saucepan and turn heat to low, cooking for approximately 15 minutes or until most of water is absorbed.
  13. When quinoa is finished, pour quinoa into a large mixing bowl and let it cool to room temperature. To speed this process up, I will either place it in the fridge, or set it next to an open window in the winter months.
  14. While waiting for your quinoa to cool, chop your green onions and parsley, and set aside until ready to use.
  15. When quinoa is cool, mix in parsley, green onions and pomegranate seeds.
  16. When squash is finished, remove from oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
  17. In a small dish, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together to thoroughly combine. This will make ⅓ of a cup of dressing.
  18. Add squash into quinoa and stir to mix.
  19. Slowly pour dressing over quinoa salad, using only a small amount at a time, as you don’t want to overdo it. I had about 1.5 Tbsp. remaining that I didn’t end up using.
  20. Toss to coat and serve.

 

 

1 comment on Butternut Squash Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

  1. Amy
    January 31, 2014 at 7:54 pm (3 years ago)

    This looks so good! Can’t wait to make it.

    Reply

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