Butternut Squash + Apple Quinoa Salad

Butternut squash #2, was just happily consumed.

With apples and a little honey in the mix as well.

Yesterday I mentioned that you probably won’t see recipes incorporating apple, despite buying 10lbs of them, but I may have spoken too soon.  (1 of 9)

I love that on Halloween morning, the first photo I’m showing you, is of a bowl of onions.  What a candy buzz kill.

While at the market this weekend, I picked up cipollini onions for the first time.  They’ve always intrigued me, with their funny flat shape.  I had a recipe in mind, and was looking for shallots, but gave these a try instead.  The theme of the recipe was fall + local.  Well, as local as possible.  I’m pretty sure you can’t find quinoa or lemons grown in Colorado.

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My thought process for this recipe went something like this…

Quinoa salad!!  Butternut squash must be used again….I have 10lbs of apples in the fridge.  There is no way I’m going to plow through all of them unless I start using them in recipes.  Butternut squash + apples?  That sounds delicious.  Hmm, but I want savory with a hint of sweet.  Honey lemon dressing….too sweet…what to add?  Oregano…basil…nope, thyme and a little garlic + salt.  What else?  Oooh, roast the butternut squash with shallots.  Scratch that, cipollini onions.  Onion + apple strangely sound good together.  Time to execute!

I’m sure you really wanted to hear all of that.

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I wanted this dish to be lightly dressed.  The onion + seasonings are mild.  You can taste each flavor, and they meld well together, without being overpowering.  After roasting the squash + onions together, I tossed them with the quinoa and added the dressing.  To give it a little pop, I kept the apples cold.  If you’re not into the whole cold + hot combination, feel free to sauté the apples for 1-3min in a pan with a little drizzle of oil.

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To top this salad, there are definitely a few options.  Keep it as a side, or incorporate a protein to make it a meal.

  • feta cheese

  • goats cheese

  • sharp cheddar cheese

  • walnuts

  • lemon zest

  • pan fried tempeh

  • cubed + broiled tofu

  • apple sage field roast vegan sausages

A great addition to any fall dinner party, or even Thanksgiving.  I know today is Halloween, but I’m already thinking about Thanksgiving.  Anyone else?  Not that I’m trying to rush time…believe me, I could use some slowing down.  But, thinking about Thanksgiving makes my stomach quite happy.  And I have to take advantage of the fall bounty while it’s around.  I can make cookies anytime, but local squash + apples only last so long!

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Butternut Squash + Apple Quinoa Salad [serves 4-6]

  • 5c butternut squash, cubed

  • 1 medium apple, diced [1.5c]

  • 1c uncooked quinoa

  • 3/4c cipollini onions, chopped

  • 2c low sodium veggie stock

  • 2T + 1T sunflower oil

  • 1/4c + 2T lemon juice

  • 1T honey

  • 1.5t dried thyme

  • 3/4t garlic powder

  • 1/4-1/2t salt [plus more to taste]

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*

  2. Combine the cubed squash + chopped onion on a baking sheet.

  3. Toss with 1T oil and a sprinkling of salt.

  4. Roast for 35-40min, stirring 1-2x, until golden brown.

  5. While roasting, heat a medium sized pot over medium heat.

  6. Rinse the quinoa and add to the pot.  Toast for 1-3min, stirring frequently.

  7. Add veggie stock, bring to a boil, cover + reduce heat to simmer for 15min. [do not remove cover or stir]

  8. Turn off heat, move the pot to another burner and let sit [covered] for 5-10min, then fluff with a fork.

  9. While the quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together 1/4c lemon juice, honey, 2T oil, 1/4t salt, garlic + thyme.  Set aside.

  10. Chop the apples into small cubes + toss with 2T lemon juice.  Place in the fridge.

  11. In a large bowl lightly toss the quinoa, butternut squash + onions, and dressing until just combined.

  12. Top with the cold apple, and any other toppings you like.

*Season with salt to taste.  If you’re no using a low sodium veggie stock, taste after mixing everything together + add salt as needed.

This lunchtime bowl was topped with walnuts and a sprinkling of thyme.  For dinner, it was topped with pan fried tempeh + sharp white cheddar.

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I’m looking forward to brainstorming more gluten free + veggie Thanksgiving ideas.  Desserts will make an appearance soon!  If you have any requests, send them my way!

Time for a little chocolate nightcap and then off to bed.  Crazy few days ahead before heading to San Fran.