Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Energy Triple Threat: Roasted Squash, Quinoa & Kale Salad



The other day, I was reading an article about food trends while eating lunch. Ugh, the writer said, Enough with the quinoa and kale. No one cares. No one really even likes quinoa and kale!

Not A Fan Of Quinoa? Get Your Freek-eh On With This Salad

I stared at the piece for a few minutes, while taking bites of my quinoa and kale salad. Here's the thing: trendy foods become trendy for a reason, and the reason quinoa and kale became known as nutritional superstars is because they ARE nutritional superstars. Quinoa, that protein-and-fibre-rich superfood beloved by vegans and gluten-free aficionados, pairs wonderfully with vitamin-and-antioxidant-packed kale; add in butternut squash and hazelnuts, and you've got yourself a powerhouse of a salad. A bowl of this will keep you going for hours - it's a bowlful of energy!

This salad is a wonderful make-ahead meal; unlike many greens, kale does not get soggy or wilted when dressed. This is a large recipe that is great for a potluck, or if you just want leftovers for lunch the next day. 


4 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 head kale, stems removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup hazelnuts (optional)

  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss butternut squash in 1 tablespoon olive oil, spread evenly on a baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway. Allow to cool completely.

  Prepare quinoa according to package directions, and allow to cool completely.

  Place kale pieces in a very large bowl. 

  Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and garlic. Pour half of the dressing over the kale and, using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale until it is all covered.

  In a smaller bowl, toss the cooled butternut squash, cooled quinoa and the hazelnuts with the remaining dressing. Toss all together and feel the power!

Keen on quinoa? Try my Bruschetta Quinoa Salad or my Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar - both great for beating the mid-afternoon crash! Crazy for kale? Try my Kick-Ass Kale Salad or my Two-Way Kale Chips.