When you say you’re just having salad for dinner it could be this: quinoa with roasted squash, leeks and pumpkin seeds, parsley and cilantro, Mimosa dressing. Enough by itself, but you could add anything else that sounds good, like grilled Portobella mushrooms, lentils, a piece of fish or chicken, or chopped kale beneath the warm quinoa. Don’t even mention healthy, but it so is. And delicious.
This was dinner the other night, along with a piece of grilled salmon, and then lunches the next day. Two recipes found weeks apart at Gourmet.com, (quinoa & asparagus salad, and butternut squash ribbons with arugula, inspired this salad which finally came together the other night. So nice to be in the company of Gourmet at dinnertime.
Quinoa Salad Recipe (with Mimosa Dressing)
Ingredients for quinoa salad: 1 1/4 C quinoa, 2 1/2 C water, 1 t salt/ 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and sliced into thin ribbons/ 1 medium leek, cleaned and trimmed, sliced vertically into thin 3 or 4 inch lengths/ Olive oil, salt & pepper/ 1/3 C pumpkin seeds, roasted/ 1/2 C each of chopped cilantro and parsley.
Directions: Rinse quinoa, allow to drain thoroughly, place in boiling salted water and simmer with lid on for 15 – 20 minutes, until tender/ Remove from heat and let sit with lid on for 5 more minutes/ Spoon and spread quinoa onto a cookie sheet/ Let it cool and dry out a bit, then put quinoa in a large bowl/ While quinoa is cooking, place squash ribbons and leeks on one or two cookie sheets, drizzle with 2 – 3 T olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and spread evenly across the pan/ Roast at 425 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes/ When tender, remove from oven and let cool/ My squash ribbons sort of fell apart at this point. Perhaps I should have cooked them a little less, but it didn’t matter/ In a small, ovenproof pan, heat 1 t olive oil, add 1/3 C pumpkin seeds and a pinch of salt/ Place in the 425 degree oven, along with the squash, for just 6 or 7 minutes/ Remove from the oven when they begin to pop and turn lightly golden/ When cool, add most of the pumpkin seeds to quinoa/ Chop cilantro and parsley, add to bowl of quinoa.
Mimosa Dressing Recipe
Ingredients & Directions: 2 hard-boiled and finely chopped eggs, 3 T lemon juice, 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, 1/3 – 1/2 C olive oil, 1 T maple syrup/Drizzle olive oil into juice and garlic while whisking steadily/When slightly thickened add maple syrup and mix/Add finely chopped eggs, pinches of salt & pepper and whisk again/ Taste and add more or less of any ingredient.
Add most of the chopped herbs, half the pumpkin seeds, and about half of the dressing to the quinoa. Stir together and put on a large plate or in a bowl. Place roasted squash and leeks on top with the remaining chopped herbs, pumpkin seeds and another healthy drizzle of dressing. Fresh pepper.
Serve warm or at room temp. Enjoy.