Veg Sides: Quinoa w/ Roasted Squash, Spinach & Walnuts

So many people have dietary restrictions these days. More so than ever.

You used to have the token vegetarian at the table, who would be satisfied w/ brown rice and some vegetables.
Now it's a vegan, which is a whole 'nother animal (no pun intended).

There are gluten free guests (or ones that think they have celiac disease); carb free friends (most of my gal pals in their 40's); and dairy free guests who are lactose intolerant.

Don't forget the kosher peeps and the pescatarians........

I can't keep up with it anymore.

My sister, who never ate any red meat as a kid (or now) was a special case at my grandmother's house (who always served meat as a main dish).

My grandmother would make my sister her very own special baked potato on holidays and call it a day.
Needless to say, she was more than satisfied with that lonely spud.

I always post a hearty vegetarian side for your Thanksgiving table.
These days, I would almost rather eat the vegetables than the turkey anyway.

You can make this as a main dish too and everyone will be happy.

Quinoa Salad w/ Roasted Squash, Spinach & Walnuts:

2 cups of quinoa, cooked as per package directions
1 lb. fresh spinach
1 large red onion, sliced
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1/3 cup of walnuts, toasted and chopped

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp walnut oil
sea salt & pepper

Whisk dressing with a fork.

Cook the quinoa and add to a large bowl.

Cut the squash into cubes and drizzle w/ olive oil and kosher salt.

Roast the squash on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes in a 375F oven.

Remove to the bowl with the cooked quinoa.

In a skillet with some oil, saute the onion slices for only a few minutes, just until soft, you want them to have a bite left (or maybe you don't).

Saute or steam the spinach leaves for only a minute or two, until just wilted. You can also throw in baby spinach raw if you prefer (I will do that next time).

Add in the toasted walnuts.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss.
Feta cheese is welcome.

I liked this best warm, but it is also delicious at room temperature, and a good make ahead dish.


This Locavore has spoken.


Tracy S said…
Don't even get me started on everyone's crazy eating habits! Drives me insane. This is a great choice for picky eaters- I had some kosher guests at a "Friendsgiving" party I threw last weekend, and I made almost this exact dish- I had no spinach in mine- and it got a lot of good reviews.

Although what really stole the show was your spinach gratin recipe, so thanks for that one!
Anonymous said…
You're blowing my little mind, Ms. Snacks. Not only a mother who is indifferent to food, now a sister doesn't eat red meat? Genetics are wild and families are weird. Weird and interesting - ALL families.
Unknown said… make matters worse, many people who are gluten free can't eat quinoa. They have a similar or the same protein structure.....I had a friend get angry with me cause I had a party and nothing was gluten or dairy free. Unfortunately, people brought different apps to share. The app she brought had dairy, so she couldn't even eat her own....
Annie the Cook said…
hi Stacey, Oh what a chord those comments struck with me. In the UK we have a radio show which used to award a "Moaner Lisa" to the most impassioned moan of the week. I won it once with my moan about people who say they are vegetarians and then eat fish!
Keep up the good work, love your recipes.
Eileen said…
I have my Thanksgiving day meal pleanned, but may have to add this. Sounds delicious and perfect for my gluten-free daughter ;P
Sarah said…
Best best best salad ever! I used basil and omitted the walnuts (allergy), but it was amazing. Thank you so much for your amazing grain salads!!!!
Taste of Beirut said…
It is true that people's dietary restrictions are becoming more and more complicated, but at least you have simplified this vegan recipe that should satisfy everyone so that it is easy for any host to make!
Anonymous said…
Thanks for this lovely recipe! We made it today, following your suggestion of using raw spinach. Very filling.