Thank goodness my husband isn’t a very picky eater. He may not be any help with menu planning (all he ever requests are tacos and enchiladas) but he does eat whatever I put in front of him. Because he is easy, I give him a break on things I know he really doesn’t like. Quinoa. Leafy greens. And any other veggies that he would consider “too healthy”.
Given that I like quinoa and more than five vegetables, weekday quinoa salad lunches are my staple. Predictable, yes, but never boring. It’s all about changing a few things up to get a whole new lunch, and seasonal produce makes that easy enough to do. I’m happy to say that my new obsession, butternut squash, is the star of my fall quinoa salad show. Add an episode of my latest guilty pleasure on Netflix and my lunch is complete.
Roast some butternut squash.
The key is to spread it out evenly and use parchment paper to keep those cubes in tact.
Massage some kale (have you heard why a rubdown helps?). Make your dressing.
Pile it all in there.
Butternut squash kale salad.
A quinoa and leafy green lover’s lunch.
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry)
- Handful of kale, ripped into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup broken walnut pieces
- 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons apple cider or sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium bowl, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the butternut squash. Add salt and pepper and mix. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the butternut squash cubes onto the sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees F (225 C).
- In a separate bowl, throw in the kale and a teaspoon olive oil. Massage the kale with the olive oil until the kale is soft.
- Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar. Tightly close the lid and shake the jar until the ingredients are well mixed.
- Layer your salad into one large bowl (4-serving side dish) or 2 small bowls (2 meals). Start with the quinoa, then kale, butternut squash, cranberries, and walnuts. Drizzle vinaigrette on top of your salad.*
- *You may not need all of the dressing because the squash and kale are already covered in oil, but add as much as desired.