FOR THE ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH:
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3-3.5lb) peeled, seeded, and diced (1/2-inch cubes,
- 8-9 cups chopped)
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, or oil of choice
- Fine sea salt, to taste
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 large avocado, pitted and chopped
- Fresh lemon or lime juice, to taste
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- For the squash: Preheat the oven to 400F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Spread the chopped squash onto the baking sheets and drizzle on 1 tablespoon of oil over top each. Toss to coat. Spread the squash into an even layer, being careful not to overcrowd the squash, and garnish with a few pinches of sea salt.
- Roast the squash until the bottoms are just starting to brown. For my oven, this takes about 50 minutes, but your time may vary. I recommend checking on it after 30 minutes, and then every 5-10 minutes after that. I don’t bother flipping it halfway through, but I do rotate the pans once half way through roasting as I have a hot spot in my oven. I find the squash tastes best when the bottoms are slightly browned (more than the photo shows).
- For the salad: Prepare the quinoa once you have about 25 minutes left of roasting the squash. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a medium pot. Add 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 13-16 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender and fluffy. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and remove from heat. Season the quinoa to taste with a generous amount of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Keep the lid on until ready to use so it stays warm.
- Pit and chop the avocado and have it ready to go just before assembly.
- When the squash is finished cooking, spread the warm quinoa onto a platter (or you can simply combine everything in a large bowl). Top the quinoa with all of the (hot out of the oven) roasted squash, and finally the chopped avocado. Garnish with a couple more pinches of salt, and a small amount of fresh lemon juice (or lime juice) drizzled over top (or you can try lemon or lime zest for a twist). I use a light touch with lemon juice as it can quickly overwhelm the other flavors. Serve immediately.
Want to change this dish up? Here are some ideas on how you can create a new dish!
- Add some minced garlic to the cooked quinoa for a subtle garlic flavour
- Sprinkle on some garlic powder or nutritional yeast
- Add black beans, chickpeas, or any bean of choice for a boost of protein
- Try experimenting with spices like cumin + chili powder + cayenne; cinnamon + nutmeg; curry powder + coriander, etc.
- Switch it up and use lemon juice instead of lime juice, and vice versa
- Try sprinkling fresh minced herbs to finish, such as parsley or cilantro
- Switch up the grains - I think a small amount of rice would pair really well here
- Skip the avocado and sprinkle on my pecan parmesan for a nutty crunch
- Add finely shredded kale, chard, or spinach for a boost of green power
Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2015/10/20/a-simple-roasted-butternut-squash-salad/#ixzz3pG0FU3hs
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