This Roasted Roots and Squash Kale-Quinoa Salad is as equally suited for family gatherings as it is for mason-jar lunch salads.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Winter in New England
How’s it going? Are you surviving this winter? While the days are definitely getting longer, it’s still noticeably cold and wintery here in New England.
All winter I happily don my long gray down jacket, gray hat, black boots, and…well, you get the idea. There is a lot of gray and black! But as you can probably tell from my photos, I’m a girl who loves a good pop of color on top of that background, whether it comes to my clothes, my house, or my food.Brighten your winter with this roasted roots and squash kale-quinoa salad! Click To Tweet
Pops of color make me happy, whether it’s a bright yellow pillow, a pink scarf, or purple blackberries on peanut butter toast. And colors are especially needed this time of year in New England when the trees are bare, the sidewalks spotted with brown snow, and the cars all look grayish.
Roasted Roots and Squash
Fortunately, it’s still the season for cold-weather roots and winter squash. I actually just got an infusion of fresh roots and squash in my winter farm share last week! Now I just need to find time in my presently overbooked schedule to prepare them.
Roots and squash are two of my favorite types of vegetables, and oh my what beautiful colors they can bring! Yes, it can take some work to peel and chop these hardy veggies, but the end result is worth it.
From the much-loved sweet potato to the less well-known rutabaga to the colorful beet, this Roasted Roots and Squash Salad has a place for them all. It also features delicata squash, which I love because it requires no peeling! That’s right, you can leave its pretty shape intact and just eat the skin!
I first made this salad for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. It was inspired by a recipe from Angela Liddon in her cookbook Oh She Glows. Have you ever read her cookbook or website? If not, I highly recommend it–she has so many amazing veggie-packed recipes.
But back to my salad. It basically doesn’t get much more nourishing–or color packed–than this. And not to worry, it tastes pretty terrific as well.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1½ cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 2 beets, peeled and diced (I used one yellow and one red)
- 1 delicata squash, cut lengthwise, seeds removed, and sliced into ½ inch slices (or use another winter squash and dice)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons avocado or grapeseed oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch kale, rinsed, destemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Combine the vegetable stock in a small pot with a lid. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer on reduced heat for about 15 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked. Set aside and let cool.
- Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper for easier cleanup or just spread a little extra oil onto them. Place the beets and rutabaga in a single layer on one baking sheet and the squash and sweet potato in a single layer on the other. Drizzle with the avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, tossing or flipping half-way through until soft and starting to brown. Set aside and let cool when done.
- Meanwhile, combine olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a little mason jar with a lid. Shake to combine.
- Place the kale leaves in a big bowl, add the dressing, and massage. Let sit while the veggies roast.
- Toss the kale with the quinoa, veggies, cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
Like this salad? You may enjoy these as well: