If you’re active you need heartier foods to sustain your energy, especially in the cold winter months. As much as I love eating light, a summer salad just doesn’t cut it when I’m famished. I end up snacking all afternoon to make up for lost calories. Enter: the satisfying and hearty Roasted Pumpkin and Crunchy Red Quinoa Salad. It’s protein and carb rich, visually appealing, slightly mysterious and more importantly, really tasty. The cold, crunchy quinoa base is topped with warm caramelized pumpkin and finished with a smooth green tahini dressing. I serve this dish as an appetizer for dinner parties, but it’s just as good as a one-plate lunch. Spend time arranging it creatively and savor the perfection.
Roasted Pumpking and Crunchy Red Quinoa Salad Recipe
Roasted Pumpkin and Crunchy Red Quinoa Salad with Sesame Mint Dressing
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup water
- Lemon juice to taste
- 1-2 cloves garlic crushed
- 20 leaves mint
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium sized pumpkin thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- A drizzle of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 1/2 cup scallions
- 1 cup finely chopped kale
- 1/2 cup herbs: mint parsley, and cilantro
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Lemon juice squeezed to taste
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
- 2 tablespoons walnuts or pecans toasted
- Salt and pepper
Pulse above ingredients in a food processor.
Add water to achieve desired consistency. Can be made one day ahead if you omit the mint and add fresh.
Wash and peel pumpkin. Cut pumpkin in half lengthwise.
Turn face down and slice into 1/2 inch slices that resemble half moons.
Place on baking sheet with dressing and roast uncovered at 400 degrees F until caramelized, 30-40 minutes.
Cook quinoa with one cup of water. Allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to fridge.
Ideally cook quinoa in advance to allow it to chill fully.
In a medium bowl combine scallions, kale, herbs, honey, olive oil, lemon juice, nuts. Add cooled quinoa.
To assemble, arrange quinoa on appetizer plate. Arrange roasted pumpkin on top. Drizzle with tahini dressing, sprinkle additional nuts and enjoy.