I’ve been craving Summer days and I indulged last week while on vacation, so I have decided to make this week “salad week” on my blog. Winter veggies are still out in full force, and I don’t mind one bit! This salad combines the earthy flavors of Winter with the sweet flavors of Summer. The slightly sweet flavor and aroma along with it’s vibrate orange color, makes Butternut squash a delight to eat.
Quinoa is a super grain, and is packed with amazing health benefits! It’s full of fiber, protein, essential amino acids, and is a great replacement for rice for those who have a gluten free diet. If you haven’t already – give it a try! You’ll love it mixed with the other ingredients in my salad recipe.
The bacon on this salad is optional, but who doesn’t like bacon, right? The combo of broccoli, butternut, shallots and spinach pairs really well with the salty flavor of the bacon and feta cheese. I would say this salad cured my craving for warm Summer days and I feel like I’m back on track with my nutrition routine.
Tip/notes: To bring out that touch of sweetness in the butternut squash I like to bake it with the other veggies and a drizzle of olive oil.
Eating cooked veggies during Winter is easier for your body to digest than eating raw veggies. Also, using olive oil with raw spinach or kale is a great way to soften it for easier digestion.
If you’re looking for a grounding Winter salad then my Butternut Squash Bacon Quinoa Salad is for you! And it’s so easy to make … let’s do it!
Butternut Squash Bacon Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup (uncooked) organic quinoa
- 1 cup peeled & diced organic butternut squash
- 1/2 cup chopped organic broccoli
- 2 chopped shallots
- 1 tbs Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup organic spinach
- 1/4 cup organic slivered almonds
- 4 – 5 strips of your favorite organic bacon (cooked)
- feta cheese
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl combine diced butternut squash, broccoli, shallots, italian seasoning, thyme, salt, pepper and 1 tbs olive oil. Once mixed spread veggies onto baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 20 – 25 mins, stirring once about 15 mins in.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon on medium heat in a large skillet.
- Once veggies are ready place back into bowl and add spinach, the remaining 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, and almonds. Mix until well combined.
- To serve place 1/4 to 1/2 cup of quinoa on a plate, and layer with veggie mix, feta and bacon. Done!
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