If you guys have been following me, you know that I have a special relationship with quinoa. More like an obsession. I seriously love this stuff. I’m not a big rice, couscous or any other type of grain person but quinoa I can totally do. Like everyday. I’ve made bakes, salads, and asian inspired bowls with it. I love the versatility as you can substitute quinoa in any recipe that calls for rice or use it in hearty bake instead of pasta. And it’s quick-cooking and gluten free!
So, it’s no surprise that I bring you another delicious quinoa salad!
This vibrant and fresh Chopped Vegetable Quinoa Salad is packed with roasted butternut squash and fresh crisp veggies, like cucumbers, carrots, and bright green spinach, all in a sweet and tangy orange vinaigrette. Flavorful, satisfying and low in fat. It’s a #meatlessmonday dream! Well…maybe not a DREAM but close enough in my book.
I usually make it as a light lunch to pack to work but you can also serve it along side your dinner or make it a meal in itself by adding chicken or shrimp.
It also stores really nicely in the fridge up to 3-4 days. I personally like it after couple days as it sits and marinates in all the goodness of the orange vinaigrette.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1½ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup cubed butternut squash (I first cut the squash into large cubes for roasting then chopped into smaller pieces)
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about ½ large pepper)
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil
- 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds, roasted
- Olive oil
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup orange juice (pulp free)
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. honey
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package directions in chicken stock instead of water; set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Drizzle butternut squash with olive oil and mix to coat evenly. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until knife tender. Cool and chop into bite size pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, butternut squash, carrots, cucumber, green bell pepper, spinach, basil and sunflower seeds. Mix in the Orange Vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Chill, covered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
- Whisk all ingredients until combined.