You know that pkg of quinoa you have in your cupboard…

That package of quinoa can easily become a Quinoa Butternut Squash, Peas and Dried Cranberry Salad.

Ok, I know quinoa as a grain is weird…little tails and everything…but it’s delicious warm and cold and so good for you on sooo many levels…google it…you’ll be impressed.  It is really easy to prepare and as yummy (even the non-vegetarians in my family request a quinoa salad for pot luck dinners).

Quinoa salad

Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Peas and Dried Cranberry Salad

2 C quinoa

1 large butternut squash

1 C frozen peas

handful of dried cranberries

Citrus vinaigrette Dressing (recipe to follow)

Bring 4 cups of water (I use vegetable broth sometimes) and the quinoa to boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes (I leave the lid off the pot, seems to go against most cooking instructions, but works better for me).  Fluff it up occasionally and when the water has evaporated the quinoa is ready!  Easy peasy!!!

To roast the butternut squash; cut up the squash in about 1″ X 1″ pieces (the cut up packages of squash work great as well, not as fresh tasting but very nice anyway).  Drizzle EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) on a cookie sheet and place the cut up squash on the sheet…don’t crowd the pieces or they’ll steam rather than roast.  Liberally mill fresh pepper and salt over the squash and more EVOO.  (if there are not many processed foods in your diet, go for lotsa salt on the squash, healthy and tastey together!!!)  Place them into a 220C (400F) degree oven and roast for about 20-30 minutes.  Toss a couple of times and check for doneness around 20 minutes…yummmm.

Nuke the frozen peas (no water in the bowl) for about 3-4 minutes and set aside.  They’ll be almost done and will finish in the salad.

Once everything is cooked, add it all together with a handful of dried cranberries and drizzle the Citrus vinaigrette over the whole thing.  A little toss in the bowl and presto changeo…dinner is ready!

Citrus vinaigrette Dressing

1/4 C EVOO

1 tsp maple syrup (or any other sweetener; agave, honey)

juice of one lemon

balsamic vinegar to drizzle

Put the EVOO into a small bowl.  Add the maple syrup and lemon juice.  Whisk the mixture.  While whisking, slowly drizzle the vinegar into the mixture.  Once it gets a bit thicker and creamier, you are done…add it to the salad and enjoy!

Quinoa Butternut Squash Salad…healthy yumminess!!!

Now off to start my day…ponies to be fed…



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