If anyone saw my twitter post stating that the ultimate hangover breakfast is challah french toast topped with melted cheddar cheese, smothered in real maple syrup, and served with a side of crispy bacon (oops) may be thinking "hey, isn't this chick supposed to be eating healthy?" and the answer would be yes...yes I am...Sure I may have strayed a little this week, but let's talk about how good I was last week! Last week, after just having begun my newfound healthy kick I decided to try out a new ingredient. In my previous entry on my Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Salad I mentioned that I have been taking advice from @joyoushealth. One of the ingredients that I kept seeing popping up on Joy's twitter was quinoa and the many benefits of this super grain. After doing a quick search of some quinoa recipes, it wasn't hard for me to see that quinoa is not only amazing for your health, but also delicious and incredibly versatile.
Before I began experimenting with using quinoa as a stuffing or filler, I wanted to begin with a basic quinoa salad recipe. I quickly found a recipe for Red Quinoa with Butternut Squash from the blog Gluten Free Goddess. Although this recipe sounded awesome, I wanted to adapt it slightly to make it my own. The result was my Butternut Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad. Satisfying and creamy with the chunks of caramelized butternut squash, with tangy bursts of freshness from fresh cranberries, and zesty bites of red onion, all immersed in sage-speckled quinoa. This recipe was delicious as a side with my dinner, not to mention the perfect leftover to pack up for my lunch at work the next day!
Adapted from Gluten Free Goddess.
1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp garlic, pureed or minced
1 small red onion, diced
3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tbsp olive oil
3 sage leaves, chopped finely
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375º. In a medium baking pan, toss the squash with the cranberries, onion, and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, and maple syrup. Season with salt, toss, and roast 25-30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring the stock and quinoa to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork.
3. Add the butternut squash mixture to the quinoa. Add the sage and red wine vinegar and toss to coat. Serve at any temperature.
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