I live for the summer and fall seasons. My favorite time of year is always the in between time. This is basically August through beginning of October, the air starts to get crisp and cool in the early morning/late nights but you also have warm weather during the day. It is the best of both seasons, you can still grab the end of summer fruits and the fall harvest starts to appear slowly on the grocery shelves.
I am a big sucker for squash and harvest dishes are always my favorite in the fall. Nothing fills me up like rich cubes of butternut squash or pumpkin. I am always looking for new sides to prep for dinners during the week. I wanted to give my boring quinoa an upgrade and figured I would take advantage of the seasons changing in the grocery stores.
This in between time of year inspired me to make this Harvest Quinoa Salad with Watermelon Maple Vinaigrette. It has the flavors of fall with notes of watermelon to remind you of the summer.
This blog post is sponsored by Evolution Fresh.
I had a few of my favorite Evolution Fresh organic pressed juices left in my fridge (I will link a store locator so you can grab some yourself here). If you can’t find the Watermelon then I suggest using any of the orange or grapefruit organic pressed juices by Evolution Fresh, they will be equally as delicious and they would make a wonderful side dish for Thanksgiving. I am jumping way too far ahead but I will absolutely be using this same recipe again for Thanksgiving but I will be using the orange ginger cold-pressed juice. In the meantime I will be pairing this with salmon, chicken and any other protein I make for the week!
Evolution Fresh Organic Cold Pressed juices are sold at the majority of local retailers so you can easily pick up a few bottles when you are grabbing the ingredients to this recipe or doing your weekly shopping.
If you can’t find some of the squash I listed below I suggest you just double up on what you do have access to. Delicata can be hard to find in some areas.
For the Harvest Quinoa Salad
· 2 C cooked Quinoa
· 2 C of blanched kale (lightly cooked in hot water)
· 1 delicata squash (de-seeded)
· 3 tbs oil (avocado or olive)
· 1 C butternut squash or cubed sweet potato
· ¼ C dried cranberries
· ¼ cup of pecans
· Salt and Pepper for seasoning
Slice up squash or sweet potato and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbs of oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast on 400 for about 15 minutes until browned and tender when poked with a fork.
Once squash is cooked mix with all of the above ingredients. Set aside and make dressing.
For the Watermelon Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:
· ½ C of Evolution Fresh Watermelon Juice could also use orange or cranberry juice for a similar fruitful flavor
· 2 tbs Maple Syrup
· 2 tbs of olive or avocado oil
· 1 tsp lemon juice
Mix together well and pour over salad. Mix all ingredients well and serve. Salad will last for a few days in the refrigerator so this makes a great meal prep side dish as well!