Winter is the time to eat food that feels like a great big hug with wool socks and puffy sweaters, and this recipe will keep you warm right to your toes. It’s true that winter isn’t really the ideal salad season: who could blame us for choosing warm creamy soup over cool and crunchy greens when there’s snow on the ground? Okay, so we’re not about to give up our hot soups and curry, but brightly-coloured Yellow Quinoa Salad combines roasted butternut squash and warm red pepper flakes for a nourishing bowl of salad you can eat in front of the fireplace.
…Unless you’re like us of course, and you don’t have a fireplace – in which case roasting the veggies serves two purposes: first, you get the added flavour and texture; and second, you get to sit on the floor in front of your hot oven afterwards, and pretend you have a fireplace. If you close your eyes it feels remarkably similar.
Roasting the butternut squash brings out a really lovely smoky flavour. Start by chopping the squash into bite-sized pieces, then toss in a little olive oil and bake on a sheet lined with parchment paper for about 20 minutes. If you’re really crunched for time you can certainly boil or microwave the squash, but it won’t be quite the same.
To cook the quinoa, bring 1 cup of water to a boil with some salt. Add the quinoa and cover the pot with a lid, then turn the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
Once the squash and quinoa are ready, toss them together with the corn, finely diced (or grated) ginger, diced oranges and dressing. Top with red pepper flakes for an added kick of warmth to get your inner fire going.
- ½ cup quinoa (dry) + 1 cup water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup butternut squash
- 2 medium oranges
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger
- ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups Arugula
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt (to taste)
- Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil, then add the quinoa, cover with a lid and turn the heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- Dice the butternut squash into edible sizes; we recommend about 1cm or ½ inch cubes. Toss in a little olive oil and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Alternatively, boil the cubes for about 10 minutes to cook through.
- Peel and dice the oranges, about the same size as the squash. If you don't like the white part of the orange, remove it before dicing.
- Heat the frozen corn in the microwave (1-2 minutes) or on the stove with some water.
- Finely chop or grate the ginger.
- Incorporate all the ingredients in a big bowl and mix carefully. Serve over arugula, topped with additional red pepper flakes (to taste).