Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Have you hopped on the quinoa band-wagon yet? It's a healthy and gluten free alternative to breads and even rice. I am a big fan of quinoa! I cook with it so much now, our household probably eats several different quinoa dishes a week! I love how this simple yet super-seed can be dressed up in so many delicious ways! As we head into the weekend, I want to share with you a healthy fall quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash mixed with aromatic sage, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and a honey-citrus dressing! Yumm... 



This dish is so easy to make, and most ingredients you might already have on hand! I've made this salad several times already to eat with dinner and as leftovers. I also think this would make an excellent complimentary dish to a Thanksgiving feast or potluck! 


Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Sage, Cranberries & Sunflower Seeds

Serves: 8-10     Prep Time: 10 min      Cook Time: 50 min

Quinoa Salad Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash: Peeled and cut into 1" cubes
Olive Oil
1 3/4 c. Quinoa
4 c. Water
1 c. Dried Cranberries
1 c. Roasted Sunflower Seeds
4 Large Sage Leaves (roughly chopped)

Honey-Citrus Dressing:

Juice of 3 large oranges (I used naval oranges)
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Raw Honey
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the butternut squash pieces on a large non-stick baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with 2 roughly chopped sage leaves (sprinkle over top). Roast the squash until tender, about 30-40 min, turning only once.

2. While the butternut squash is roasting, start cooking the quinoa. Add quinoa and water to a medium sized saucepan and allow it to boil on a medium heat setting. Let it boil for 5-10 minutes. Then turn the heat to low to let it simmer for another 20 minutes, you will know its ready when all the water is absorbed and the quinoa looks fluffy! Set the quinoa aside to allow it to cool to room temperature.

3. While the quinoa is simmering, make the honey-citrus dressing. Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Set aside the remaining 2 roughly chopped sage leaves to use as garnish. Then combine the quinoa, cranberries and sunflower seeds. Pour the dressing over and mix well with a fork. Top the salad with the chopped sage and serve. It tastes best when served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!