Butternut Squash Quinoa with Goat Cheese
Quinoa is my go-to healthy food. It is not only packed with protein, but also a great natural source of minerals and other important nutrients, such as vitamin B and dietary fiber. The amount of carbohydrates is relatively low, which is great for losing weight. So, quinoa is definitely a great, healthy alternative to starchy grains like rice. What I love most about it, is that it’s very versatile. There are endless ways of preparing quinoa – salad is only one of them. This butternut quash quinoa recipe won’t be the last I’ll post, but it’s a good start. Butternut squash is in season right now, what makes this salad a great lunch or dinner this fall.
Butternut Squash and Citrus
… go together unexpectedly well. Usually I season butternut squash with salt, pepper and maybe some garlic. But after having pumpkin soup one day and the day after oven roasted veggies with more butternut squash and I still had some leftovers, it was time to try something new. So, when I came across Emily Bites’ Quinoa salad, I had to try it. I did modify it a little bit, but if you’re interested in the original or other very delicious recipes, go head over to her blog. It’s a good one. Anyway, back to the citrus. The quinoa salad is seasoned with a citrus dressing which is perfect for it. Who’d have thought? The sour lemon and orange juice are great with the sweetness of the squash.
For this salad, I used three different types of quinoa. Red, black and white quinoa. I didn’t mix them up myself, you can get it at the store like that (for those of you in Germany, I got it at dm Drogerie). Personally, I don’t taste any difference between the red, black or white quinoa. Usually I get the white quinoa, but I think this salad looks really pretty with the different colors.
I topped it with goat cream cheese, one of my favorites. I’ve also used feta cheese before, but the creamy consistency of the cream cheese is great with the grains. I definitely recommend goat cheese if you like that type of cheese. Another good thing about this salad is, that it tasted great warm, at room temperature and chilled! So it’s easy to eat it right away for dinner and take the leftovers to work the next day for a healthy lunch. Yay!
- 1 lb/ 500 g cubed uncooked butternut squash (cut into small cubes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 1/2 cups uncooked)
- 1/2 cup goat cream cheese or crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar (or a similar fruity vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add butternut squash. Roast for about 15 minutes or until soft.
- In the meantime, cook quinoa in vegetable broth on medium heat. (Add stock cube to water). It is ready when the grains look "clear" and the water is gone.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of oil, the orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar and honey. Stir together until combined.
- Add butternut squash to cooked quinoa. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and add parsley.
- Stir until the salad is evenly coated with the dressing. Top with goat cream cheese or sprinkle feta cheese.