Dark, leafy greens, protein-rich quinoa, juicy pomegranate arils, and vibrant butternut squash makes this Quinoa, Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad a nutrient powerhouse!
I’ve been on such a salad kick lately.
I’m thinking the ginormous bunch of kale I bought at my local farmers market last weekend has something to do with it. I still haven’t finished it…and I’ve been eating a lot of kale y’all. But, I don’t mind. It forces me to get creative and come up with new (to me) flavor combinations.
Roasted veggies are another current obsession of mine. Every week as a part of my meal prep, I roast two baking sheets worth of veggies. Two staples are cauliflower and carrots, but this past week I also roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash. Yum. Throughout the week I’ll toss these roasted veggies on salads or eat them on top of a roasted sweet potato with my favorite hummus and a drizzle of tahini. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of roasted veggies, hummus and tahini. Such an amazing combination!
One thing I want to start incorporating into my diet more is protein, mainly in the form of quinoa. I love everything about quinoa. It’s naturally gluten-free, a complete protein, and is a great source of fiber. What more could you ask for? Plus, it’s so easy to flavor by cooking it in vegetable broth and spices or pouring a simple vinaigrette overtop. Add in some nuts for crunch and dried fruit for sweetness and you’ve got an amazing side dish.
Today I’m sharing with you a satisfying, colorful and nutritious salad that could easily serve as a main course. It has veggies, protein, fruit and healthy fats all in one dish. Even meat lovers will enjoy this healthy meal!
And come on…that color!!
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH:
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 5 large leaves curly kale (about 5 large handfuls chopped)
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup craisins
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place the cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle the squash with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the butternut squash for about 30 minutes until fork tender, flipping the cubes over half way through. Remove from the oven when cooked and set aside.
- While the butternut squash roasts cook the the quinoa by placing 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of vegetable broth in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a low and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, still covered, and let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Then fluff the quinoa with a fork and let cool.
- While the butternut squash roasts and the quinoa simmers, prepare the salad and dressing. Place the chopped kale into a large bowl, drizzle on 1 tablespoon olive oil, and massage the kale* with your hands until it softens.
- Pour all of the dressing ingredients into a small jar and shake to combine.
- To assemble the salad, pour ½ of the dressing onto the quinoa and stir well. Add in the pomegranate arils, walnuts and craisins and stir to combine.
- Pour the quinoa mixture over the kale and top everything off with the roasted butternut squash.
- Serve with another drizzle of dressing.
I hope this salad develops in you more of a love for everything fresh, colorful and from the earth. If you try it out, let me know what you think!