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Weekend + Quinoa & Butternut Squash Salad

This vegetarian recipe for Quinoa & Butternut Squash Salad includes a few of my favorite fall-inspired ingredients: roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and cranberries. This dish is perfect for a “meatless Monday” dinner or upcoming holiday {Thanksgiving!} side dish.

Good morning! How was your weekend? Ours was packed with fun {and productive} activities. K and I started out the weekend by early voting which feels great. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t wait for this election cycle to be over. On Saturday, my sweet friends hosted a baby shower brunch for me which was wonderful. I think we are almost ready for his arrival {as soon as we get the car seat installed}! The weather was also gorgeous and there are still many beautiful trees in the neighborhood.

K and I went to dinner and a play downtown with visiting friends on Saturday night, then were back downtown at the hospital first thing on Sunday morning for our baby/child CPR class. It was such a gorgeous day yesterday that we decided to take a leisurely afternoon and went on a 2 hour walk after the class. We ended up at Annette’s Italian Ice in Lincoln Park for a sweet treat before heading home. I’m typically sensitive to dairy, but during pregnancy the symptoms of lactose intolerance often subside or go away. This has definitely happened for me so I’m embracing it over the next few weeks! Annette’s is delicious – I had a Peppermint Bark Milkshake. It’s never too early for holiday flavors.

I also made this delicious vegetarian recipe that can be enjoyed in a few different ways this fall and over the holiday season – Quinoa & Butternut Squash Salad.

This is a new take on two old recipes: my Winter Quinoa Salad and Roasted Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad. This dish includes a few of my favorite fall ingredients – roasted butternut squash, roasted brussels sprouts, and dried cranberries.

A warm fall salad is perfect for a vegetarian main dish or a side dish for an upcoming holiday gathering. How is Thanksgiving only a few weeks away?!

K and I enjoyed the leftovers from this recipe on Sunday night, served over massaged kale and topped with a bit of goat cheese.

Quinoa & Butternut Squash Salad
Yields: 4 servings as a main dish; 6+ as a side dish

1 cup white quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 cups brussels sprouts, quartered
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons avocado oil
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Maple Dijon Vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons olive oil + 2 teaspoons
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
4 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

*Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
*Peel, cut and cube half of a butternut squash. Toss with 1 Tablespoon avocado oil {or other oil of your choice}, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast the butternut squash for 25 minutes.
*Quarter the brussels sprouts. Toss with 1 Tablespoon avocado oil {or other oil of your choice}, 2 Tablespoons water, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for an additional 10 minutes.
*While the butternut squash and brussesls sprouts are roasting, cook your quinoa according to package directions. I used half water and half vegetable stock {1 cup of each} and 1 cup of rinsed white quinoa. Bring your quinoa and liquids to a boil and simmer for ~10 minutes.
*Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together {see recipe above}.
*Add all ingredients together: roasted butternut squash, brussesls sprouts, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, cooked quinoa, and vinaigrette dressing.

What’s your favorite holiday salad recipe?

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