#header-inner {background-position: center !important; width: 100% !important;}

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Kale, Red Onion, and Cranberries

Pin It
I look at a LOT of recipes each week. I flip through magazines and cookbooks, check out recipes saved in email folders, scour Pinterest for inspiration, and of course read a lot of other food blogs. Most of the time, I see recipes that sound good, have a running list of ideas in my head, and then have to actually sit down and decide what I want for the upcoming week when I do my grocery list writing and meal planning.

Maria made it easy for me though. I saw this quinoa salad recipe on her blog and knew it sounded right up my alley. As I read through the ingredient list, I realized I already had every single ingredient on hand. There was no need to toss around five different recipes before finally settling on one, the decision had been made for me! I did add some butternut squash instead of using all sweet potato and I just had regular quinoa (Maria used black).

This is one of those meals I could eat again and again. It's easy to whip up a big batch of it and enjoy it for lunches over a few days. I ate it both warm and cold and liked it both ways...I also think it'd be good topped with some goat cheese or feta. Don't have the ingredients on hand? Go out and get them on your next grocery trip--this is a must make!
What's your main source of recipe inspiration?

One Year Ago: Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, and Pomegranate Soup

Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Kale, Red Onion, and Cranberries
slightly adapted from Two Peas and Pod

-1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
-1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
-1/2 medium red onion, sliced
-1 tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper, to taste
-3 cups kale
-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
-1 cup uncooked quinoa
-2 cups water
-pinch of salt
-1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and red onion slices in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetables before spreading on a large baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, until squash and potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally while baking.
2. Drizzle kale with 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a separate baking sheet and after the squash has been in the oven for 15 minutes, add the pan with the kale. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until kale is wilted and a little bit crispy.
3. While vegetables are roasting, rinse the quinoa. Place rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes before lowering heat and simmering for 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set quinoa aside to cool to room temperature.
4. Allow roasted vegetables to cool to room temperature. Chop red onion slices and kale into small pieces. Toss quinoa, potatoes, squash, red onion, and kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with remaining 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and stir in the cranberries. Season with salt and pepper before serving.