A nutritious, healthy and satisfying warm salad, which is easy to pull together, consisting of roasted butternut squash, goats' cheese & quinoa.
Firstly, can I apologise for the really dismal photos, the sun was already sinking below the horizon line by the time I came to dress the plate. Thankfully, the days are now lengthening so images of evening meals should, in theory, improve!
So, onto the recipe....After making our Spelt & Quinoa Bread, which I shared recently, I was left with half a bag of pre-cooked quinoa seeds. Now, being a thrifty Yorkshire lass, I clearly didn't want to waste good food and so decided to use them in a warm salad consisting of roasted butternut squash, crumbly goats' cheese with a generous scattering of the slightly nutty red and white seeds.
Quinoa is a fabulous food, especially for vegetarians and vegans or those reducing their meat intake. Not only is it classed as a complete protein due to it being comprised of all nine essential amino acids, it is also gluten free and high in B-Vitamins. And let's not forget to say how incredibly delicious it is too with its slightly nutty flavour. Although the quinoa I usually find is white, there are other varieties available such as red and even black! Although I've never tried the black quinoa, from reading other blogs I am led to believe that it is slightly crunchier than the white.
Having a butternut squash in the house and a few sweet potatoes, I decided to cube the vegetables and roast them. After leaving the vegetable to do their thing in the oven, I was able to finish a few small jobs before serving them on a bed of salad leaves and sprinkling them with crumbled goats' cheese and the quinoa.
Mr E & I thoroughly enjoyed this dish finding it both satisfying and nutritious. The goats' cheese slightly melting when crumbled over the beautiful roasted vegetables; the salad leaves becoming flavoursome when they too have warmed from the contact with the vegetables; and the quinoa bringing a wonderful nutty note.
So, let's get to it and cook!
Butternut Squash, Quinoa & Goats' Cheese Salad. Yum
Difficulty: Very Easy
Time: about 40 minutes
You will need:New Potatoes, cleaned and cut in half if they are a little large.
1 Butternut Squash
Sweet Potatoes, cleaned and peeled & halved or quartered (depending upon their size)
1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil
60g approx. soft Goats' Cheese, crumbled
c120g pre-cooked red & white Quinoa (alternatively cook dried quinoa seeds) (We used this from Merchants)
How to make it:1. Preheat the oven to 210c / Fan 200 / Gas 7. Place a roasting tin in the oven to be warming.
2. Prepare the new potatoes. Clean and par boil (or par steam) your new potatoes for about 8 - 10 minutes.
3. Prepare the butternut squash. Meanwhile, slice the squash in half just above the rounded bulbous part. Cut the longer 'stem' of the squash into discs about 2-3cm wide. Peel each disc and slice in half, (or even roast with the skin on as we did).
4. Drizzle with oil. Coat the squash and sweet potato pieces in a little oil and pop onto the heated baking tray. Roast for about 25 - 30 minutes. After 10 minutes drizzle the par-cooked new potatoes with a little oil and add to the roasting tray. Toss all the vegetables half way through cooking. Once ready they should be softened when pierced with a knife and colouring.
5. Prepare the quinoa. Heat the pre-cooked red & white quinoa in the microwave as per the packet instructions or enjoy them cold, as we did. Alternatively if you're using the raw quinoa, cook in a pan of boiling water according to the packet instructions.
6. Prepare the salad. Wash your salad leaves if they are un-prepared and drain. Place a generous amount of washed leaves onto the plate.
7. Serve. Once the roasted vegetables are ready, throw onto the salad leaves, crumble over the goats' cheese and scatter on the cooked quinoa.
If you're looking for some further recipes to use with quinoa, here are a few from other food blogger.
Kabocha Squash Stuffed with Black Quinoa, from Corina of Searching for Spice
Quinoa Porridge from Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins
Spelt & Quinoa Loaf, by myself, Only Crumbs Remain