The sunlight glinted off the thin layer of frost this morning as I drove the kids to school. Autumn comes late in the dessert and I’m enjoying the burst of colors on the trees and cool, crisp air.
Thanksgiving is almost here and I think this colorful and tasty side dish may end up finding it’s way into our Thanksgiving spread. If you’re gluten free, following a strict diet like the Paleo or GAPS – or just want to switch things up – this savory quinoa with roasted butternut squash, onion, and mushrooms along with a bite of tart dried cranberries, hint of orange zest and fresh kale won’t disappoint.
My family and I ate every last bite of this dish tonight with dinner, the kids squabbling over who had more cranberries with every helping. Unlike the salad, the squabbling isn’t a seasonal thing. Oh, if only.
Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad
4 cups broth (chicken, turkey, or vegetable)
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
3-4 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves roughly chopped or 1 tsp. dried parsley
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 pint sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt or Himalayan pink salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 2 cups loosely packed)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tsp. orange zest
*Preheat the oven to 425.
*In a large saucepan bring the broth, quinoa, and herbs to a boil, reduce heat, put a lid on it, and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove rosemary and thyme stems then fluff with a fork.
*While the quinoa is simmering drizzle the squash, mushrooms, and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them out on a foil lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. The butternut squash should be tender and everything should have a nice caramelized look.
*Toss together the quinoa, roasted vegetables, kale, and cranberries. Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts and orange zest over top and serve warm.