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Butternut Squash & Cranberry Quinoa Salad

I've been in a bit of a phase lately.  It's what I'm calling my "healthy phase".  So I guess that's a good thing, right?  I'm not going to lie to you.  I'm still eating a ton of jelly beans, because It's Easter.  However, when I'm not eating way too much sugar, I'm busy balancing things out with some butternut squash and quinoa.

I've also started a Brussels sprouts addiction.  I never knew this was a thing, but its a thing.  I posted a picture of some diced and prepped Brussels sprouts on my instagram the other day (ig - @thehobokitchen).  I got a few comments letting me know of new-to-me ways to roast the Brussels.  So basically this means I'll be over here making Brussels sprouts fo' life!

Speaking of healthy ish, let's eat the heck out of this butternut squash/cranberry/quinoa situation.  We've got a bit of everything here.  All the textures and flavors keep your mind entertained when really you're just doing something good for yourself. No issues with that!

Before I let you get to the recipe, can we also just appreciate the weather today?  It's going to be in the mid-80's.  Come on Spring and Summer. Get here soon please!

 

Butternut Squash & Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Print Recipe

  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup shallot, finely chopped (~1 shallot)
  • 4 tablespoons pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 5 leaves basil, julienned
  • salt and black pepper

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2) On a baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is tender and golden.

3) Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear.  Make the quinoa per the package instructions.  Set aside to cool slightly.

4) Make the balsamic vinaigrette by whisking together all ingredients.  Season to taste. Set aside.

5) In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, butternut squash, cranberries, raisins, shallots, pistachios, and basil.  Toss gently to mix the ingredients together.  Pour the vinaigrette over the salad.  Toss once more to incorporate.  Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

6) Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

-- slightly adapted from the Little Broken blog