Eating clean doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. And that is where this Balsamic Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash comes in! It is incredibly simple and leaves you feeling nourished.
This bright and colorful Balsamic Quinoa Salad is a whole new way to enjoy quinoa. Balsamic and goji berries offer a refreshing kick, while quinoa and pumpkin seeds offer an excellent source of plant-based protein.
The ingredients in this Balsamic Quinoa Salad are pretty straightforward, but feel free to add just about any ingredient you have on hand for added flavor and nutrients. Quinoa has become mainstream in the past few years and is available at most supermarkets. It has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. It looks like couscous and is eaten like a grain, but it’s actually a cousin of spinach, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens. Since quinoa can have a bitter residue on it, make sure to rinse it well in a fine mesh strainer before cooking.
This salad can quickly and easily be made in advance and stored in a container. I often make it the night before or morning of for lunch at the office or when I know I’ll be on the go.
This recipe was adapted from Mind Body Green.
- 3 cups diced butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ¾ cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1¼ cups water
- 8 cups kale, stems removed and finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup dried goji berries
- Preheat the oven to 420°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the diced butternut squash in half of the olive oil and spread across the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the squash roasts, combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove the lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and set aside.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chopped kale leaves and sauté for about 3 to 5 minutes or until wilted. Turn the heat down to the low.
- Add the quinoa, roasted butternut squash, and balsamic vinegar into the skillet with the kale and toss until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and turn off the heat.
- Divide into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds and goji berries.