Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Sautéed Kale

Farmers Market Squash

Squash is abundant this time of year and they are all pretty cool looking if you ask me; luckily they’re not just beautiful to look at, they’re delicious too!

Butternut squash is very low in calories but contains a good amount of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. It’s naturally rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and minerals. Kale is one of the most nutritious leafy greens around so why wouldn’t I add it in here? 😉 This dish is a nice mix of savory and sweet; I didn’t even crave dessert after it (and I always crave something sweet after dinner 🙂 ).

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups of chopped kale
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
2 tsp. organic, unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp local, raw honey
1 tbsp dried tarragon
sea salt
black pepper
nutritional yeast (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chopped squash in a bowl and drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over it. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly so that the olive oil coats all of the squash. Lay it in a baking dish. Once the oven is heated, place it in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes. Be sure to check on them after 20 minutes and toss them around, then place back in the oven. Squash is done once it’s nice and tender. Set aside when done.

While the squash is cooking, rinse the quinoa and then place it in a pot and add 2 cups of water. Place the heat on high. Bring this to a simmer, then place the heat on low and cover it. Let this cook for 20 minutes. Set aside.

Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat, once the oil is melted add the sliced onions, and sauté for 4-6 minutes until they become soft and translucent. Then stir in the kale and walnuts. Once the kale has softened, add 1 teaspoon of honey. Give it all a final stir. Cover and set aside.

Take a large mixing bowl and add in the quinoa and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix together until the coconut oil has melted. Then add in the butternut squash and stir. Lastly take the kale and place it on top of the quinoa and squash.  If you like nutritional yeast it’s great sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

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Kale, Sprouts and Spirulina Salad

I usually add spirulina to smoothies, but after reading a recipe recently, I was inspired to add it to my salad last night. Although it sounded a bit strange, I figured it was worth a try and I ended up REALLY liking it! Spirulina actually has more protein than soy, more iron than beef, is a great source of Vitamin A and is loaded with protective phytochemicals.

Serving Size: 1

bunch of lacinato kale
mixed sprouts (I used The Sproutman brand, yoga salad variety – most health food stores carry this or something similar)
1 carrot
raw sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon
chopped raw walnuts, 1 tablespoon
sea salt, cayenne pepper, celery seeds, dulse flakes, nutritional yeast to taste (I used a sprinkle of each)
spirulina powder, just under a tablespoon
apple cider vinegar, to taste
juice of ½ a lemon
extra virgin olive oil, to taste

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Wash the kale leaves and tear them off of the stem. Rip the kale into small pieces using your hands (you can chop it with a knife if you’d like but I think using my hands is easier!).
Take a handful of mixed sprouts and toss it in with the kale. Add the walnuts.
Peel the carrot and once you’ve peeled the outside, continue peeling the carrot so that you end up with thin carrot ribbons. Add this to the salad. Once you get near the core of the carrot you won’t be able to peel anymore. I usually eat the rest of the carrot while I’m fixing the the salad. 🙂
Add the lemon juice. Add the apple cider vinegar and olive oil, to taste. Add the salt, cayenne, celery seeds, dulse flakes and nutritional yeast. Massage the kale with your hands to help soften it up. Your hands will definitely get a bit messy but using your hands really softens the kale and makes it easier to digest. Add the spirulina powder AFTER you’ve massaged the kale – it’s quite a deep green color and will be too messy. Mix the spirulina in with the rest of the salad.  Top it off with the sunflower seeds. Enjoy!