A Winter Salad

Salad in winter.  Really?  To some people the thought of salad during cold, winter months is less than appealing.  Opting instead for, hearty stews, warm casseroles, or soup.  However, I enjoy salad at anytime of the year.  Winter included.  I think all you need to do, is opt for seasonal ingredients, and a salad in December works.

Case in point.  This one.  I brought this to Christmas dinner with the family.  Everyone knows, mashed potatoes and stuffing are essential sides on December 25.  I wanted to bring something, that was not only a healthier alternative, but colourful and flavourful.  Accomplished.  This looked like Christmas, and like most sides on Christmas, I went back for seconds!


Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad

1lb butternut squash, peeled & cubed
1 1/2 cups organic quinoa
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup apple cidar vinegar
4 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp pepper & salt

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.
To make dressing; combine vinegar, syrup, mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Add in olive oil whisking constantly until well combined.
Cut squash into 1cm cubes.  Toss with 2 tbsp dressing.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet and roast for 25 mintues or until tender and browned.  Stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Add quinoa and reduce heat to low. and simmer covered, for 15 minutes.
Transfer cooled quinoa, roasted squash, onion and cranberries to a large bowl;  drizzle with remaining dressing (or as much as desired) and gently toss to coat. 
Serve @ room temperature or cold.  Add walnuts just prior to serving.

Serves: 10-12
adapted from Canadian Health & Lifestyle


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