Food is better when roasted squash is added into the mix, don't you agree? And quinoa, well, it incorporates into just about anything.
Hence this salad.
I have to say, I am usually much deeper into root vegetable consumption by now but the fall has been so incredibly balmy that I hung onto summer eating until Halloween was approaching.
This hearty salad is best served warm and is a healthy lunch or dinner as quinoa provides all nine essential amino acids making it an excellent choice for protein. Squash provides carotenoids and antioxidants, vitamin B6 which supports immunity and nervous system health, vitamin C, folate and fiber. And kale is a free radical scavenger with close to 50 different flavanoids, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin k to name just a few.
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package directions
1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup of finely chopped kale
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup, I use sugar free found here
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup salted, roasted sunflower seeds
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put squash cubes onto a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Stir to combine. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender and edges are brown.
Cook quinoa and fluff with a fork. Put kale in a serving bowl and add lemon juice. Massage the juice into the kale. Cover the kale with the hot quinoa to wilt the kale a bit further and let this sit for a minute. Add the squash, cranberries, maple syrup, sunflower seeds and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.