Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Alright, so if you’re not into quinoa, get into it now! This whole grain is simple, quick, delicious, and really good for you. Quinoa has been around forever in parts of South America, where it originated. It’s become super popular more recently in North America, mostly because of its health benefits. Not only is it higher in protein than most whole grains, its also a complete protein source because of its balance of essential amino acids… well, that’s what Wikipedia says anyway. Whatever, I trust them… the internet never lies!

When preparing quinoa, make sure you rinse the uncooked grains very well under running water for a few minutes, preferably in a very fine metal strainer (thrifty chefs see: the dollar store). Quinoa grains have a slightly bitter coating and taste a lot better cooked when most of the bitter part is washed off.

This quinoa dish was the other salad that I served along with the candied pecan and apple salad at a party earlier last week. After I mentioned it in another blog entry, a few people asked for the recipe. So here it is, friends!

Oh, I should also point out that I was inspired by a similar recipe at the awesome blog, FatFree Vegan, so I can’t really take full credit for this recipe!

Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 Bosc pears, peeled and cubed
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 shallots, diced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cup low sodium or homemade vegetable broth or water (if not using homemade broth, I swear by the low sodium organic one from Imagine)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted in a skillet over medium heat (about 5 minutes)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, toss the pear and butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and a few turns from your pepper mill. Roast for 35 minutes, turning about halfway through the cooking time. Add a couple good pinches of the minced fresh thyme and roast for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium/medium-low heat. Add shallots and garlic. Sauté for about 3 or 4 minutes, stirring often, until shallots are softening and garlic is fragrant (add a tablespoon or so of water if it begins to stick).
3. Add quinoa, 1 tablespoon of the minced fresh thyme, and big pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for another 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often.
4. Add vegetable broth or water, turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, immediately turn heat to low, cover saucepan, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit with the lid still on for another 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff gently with a fork and let cool for about 10 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, gently toss together the cooked quinoa, pear, butternut squash, parsley, lemon juice, pine nuts, 1/4 teaspoon more minced fresh thyme, and tiny drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with bit more sea salt and black pepper.
Serves: 3 to 5


1 Response to “Roasted Pear and Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad”

  1. 1 Spinach and Pesto Pizza « Vegan Eats Trackback on March 29, 2010 at 11:41 am

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My name is Ross. I'm a food loving vegan and these are some of my recipes. I'm also the owner of Hot Beans vegan takeout in Kensington Market, Toronto. Check out my 'about' page for more info. Enjoy!

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All images and recipes (unless otherwise noted) Copyright © Ross Corder and Vegan Eats Blog, 2009-2013. All rights reserved. Please do not re-post or otherwise duplicate without permission. Thanks! Also, the "gluten-free" recipe tag is meant primarily for cataloging purposes and does not necessarily ensure that the recipe is completely gluten-free. Be careful to read the labels of any pre-packaged products to ensure that they are indeed gluten-free!

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