It doesn’t get much healthier than this here salad.
It also doesn’t get much better either. This Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad screams FALL, loud and clear! Even the colors – green, orange, and deep purpley red? And yes, deep purpley red IS a color. Ugh so in love.
Did I mention I love Fall? We won’t go there again…Seriously though, cooking and baking Fall food is the best. It’s comforting, colorful, warm, delicious, and so so so satisfying.
After a long weekend in Newport Rhode Island (you seriously must go there!), we felt we needed to take a bit of a lighter approach towards our meal choices. Hooooowever…I do have pumpkin pie spice cookies in my oven right now. sshhh….
Anyway, a lighter approach…so I made this quinoa salad as a side dish and for lunch. It’s a little work, but simple work and SO GOOD.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH! One of Fall’s most delectable vegetables I must say. It’s so incredibly easy to make and goes well with a ton of stuff – as a sauce, in a salad, stuffed with cheese and other veggies for dinner, a soup. The list goes on…
If you need some tips on how to cut up a butternut squash watch this video. It helped me!
I decided to cube it up, saute it, and put it in this salad with some other delicious Fall ingredients like kale and cranberries.
Oh and I added some toasted walnuts for crunch and a little goat cheese, well because, I love goat cheese.
These flavors WORK. There is just a pinch of salt and pepper in this salad and that’s it. No joke. The quinoa is cooked in chicken stock giving it some flaaaava, the cranberries are sweet, the kale is bitter, the walnuts are crunchy and toasty, the butternut squash is slightly sweet and hearty, and the goat cheese? The perfect tangy creaminess. Are you sold? Hope so. Please please please make this salad. Oh and this is PACKED full of healthy vitamins and stuff. Wiiinnniiinnnggggg.
To learn more about the health benefits of kale you should totally check out this article! I love learning about the health benefits of food, don’t you?
- 1 small/medium butternut squash, diced
- 1 large leaf of kale, stem removed
- ½ cup cranberries
- ¼ cup walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cup chicken stock
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Prepare Quinoa according to package direction. Use chicken stock instead of water to add flavor. Cool completely.
- White quinoa is cooking, add a few drizzles of olive oil to a saute pan and place over medium heat. Add diced butternut squash and saute until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool.
- In the same saute pan add a little more olive oil and the kale. Wilt slightly, 1-2 minutes, you want the kale to still be slightly crunchy. Remove from pan and roughly chop. Set aside to also cool.
- Again, in the same pan add walnuts, no olive oil is necessary. Toast for a few minutes on low heat - careful not to burn! Remove from pan and let cool.
- Add all of the cooled ingredients along with the cranberries, goat cheese, a little salt and a little pepper, and gently mix.