Autumn is a great time for hearty salads and this one from our friend Kerstin Mooneyham is tasty and oh-so-good-for-you!
One of my favorite dishes is Herbed Quinoa: Quinoa, fresh herbs, olive oil, pine nuts and lime juice. This recipe was created as a way to incorporate my favorite quinoa dish into a salad with more raw foods while still enjoying my favorite staple dish. You can modify it along the way to create different dishes – saving a bit at each step (the original dish I mentioned above), or make up a big batch to eat from all week long in a variety of ways: over greens, warm, as a soup with vegetable broth … Find your own way to enjoy and make this recipe your own. The best thing of all is that Quinoa is a seed – not a grain – and therefore it is high in protein and gluten-free.
1 Butternut Squash (peeled and cubed)
3 Tbsp Sunflower Seed Oil (or alternative high heat oil)
1 Tbsp cumin (ground or whole)
1 Tbsp ground coriander
2 cups Quinoa
4 cups Water
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to Taste
½ Bunch fresh coriander (cilantro)
½ Bunch fresh green onions
½ red onion (chopped)
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic (de-stemmed)
¼ cup pine nuts
Greens of Choice – Arugula is always my favorite.
Step 1: Prepare the Butternut Squash. The best way is to cut the squash into slices, peel, cube, and prepare with spices at a low roasting temperature of 350 degrees F. Add cubes of squash in an extra-large bowl with sunflower oil, cumin, coriander, salt/pepper to taste. Mix until squash is coated. Place seasoned squash cubes on a lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15-30 minutes until golden brown. Keep the bowl to mix everything in later…the oil and spices provide great flavor.
Step 2: While Squash is roasting – Cook Quinoa similarly to how you cook couscous. Ratio is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. For this recipe I used 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups of water. Bring the quinoa and water to boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Reduce temp to low and cook covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Step 3: While the quinoa is cooking it is time for your chopping meditation. Prepare in a large bowl: red bell pepper, red onion, as well as finely chopped cilantro, green onions, and garlic. Remember to de-stem your garlic cloves. Raw garlic can cause indigestion if the stem is not removed. Set aside vegetables to add to quinoa.
Step 4: Add the roasted squash back into its original bowl and then add in the finished quinoa. Season with salt/pepper (optional). Add pine nuts, mix and allow to set for a few minutes.
Step 5: Mix chopped fresh vegetables and herbs in with quinoa bowl. Mix with a large spatula or spoon …this is the perfect time to taste your creation and see if there is anything else you would like to add. Sometimes I add a chopped heirloom tomato, avocado or more of my favorite spices.
Step 6: Eat as-is or serve over a fresh bed of dark leafy greens. The quinoa salad (without the greens) will be good in a sealed container for days of enjoyment. Plain cooked quinoa will save for a full week in the refrigerator.