Meatless Monday: Roasted squash and quinoa salad

Make two meals from one effort by first roasting squash as a side dish, and then using leftovers to star in leafy green salad.

Beyond The Peel
Roast butternut squash with flavorful cumin for a side dish. Toss any leftovers the next day with greens, quinoa, nuts, dried fruit of your choice, and a citrus dressing.

I’m a big fan of doubling my efforts to get two meals in one. Today’s recipe is one of those. Actually, I find all roasted veggies really have that potential. Like the Roasted Carrot recipe I shared a while back, or roast beets to make this soup today and use the rest to make this Roasted Beet Bruschetta tomorrow.

I mean really, isn’t it nice to not have to always cook every night?

Isn’t having a night off from time to time such a great feeling?

I love cooking but even I need a night “off” once or twice a week. In case you were wondering, I don’t consider making a salad cooking, or chopping up vegetables to eat on toasted bread as cooking either, nor is heating up leftovers (one of my favorite cooking experiences). To me that’s just getting ready to eat.

With squash being plentiful and very inexpensive it makes a great side dish with dinner tonight and a fabulous salad or soup tomorrow. I recommend making quinoa and roasted squash as a side dish one night, then using the leftovers, you can make this salad for a fabulous lunch or even a delightful dinner salad that won’t taste like you’re eating last nights leftovers.

That’s always a good thing.

Roasted Cumin Spiced Squash

2 lbs. of cubed butternut squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel and remove the seeds from the squash. Cube the squash into bite sized pieces and put in a large bowl. Toss the squash with the oil, cumin and paprika. Place the squash on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 35-45 minutes or until squash is tender.

Roasted Squash and Quinoa Salad

2 cups roasted squash

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 cups baby kale and baby chard (or greens of choice)

1/2 cup dried cranberries ( or raisins)

1/2 crushed pistachios (or nuts of choice)

crumbled feta to garnish (optional)

Cumin Dressing (below) or dressing of choice

In a large bowl, add the cooked squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add the quinoa, greens, cranberries and pistachios. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.

Note: This salad will hold up nicely to the dressing, minus the greens. You can always add the salad greens at a later time if you’d like to add the dressing now and allow the flavors to marry. Also a good idea if you’re bringing this to someone house for dinner.

Cumin Dressing

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon honey (vegans use agave or sweetener of choice)

In a small frying pan over high heat, add the cumin seeds and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the cumin seeds. Combine the lemon juice, oil, cumin and honey. Whisk until well combined.

Note: If the salad won’t be eaten all at once, add the dressing to each serving individually to preserve the freshness of the greens.

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