Hi! I’m Alexandra from Occasionally Eggs, and I’m so happy to be sharing this guest post for a festive and wintery warm salad in collaboration with GoGo Quinoa today.
I’ve been a big fan of GoGo Quinoa for a long time, and when we decided to collaborate this summer when I was back home in Canada I was thrilled. Quinoa is a whole foods kitchen staple and ideal for plant based meals – cooking up some quinoa with seasonal veggies is a complete meal and only takes a few minutes.
I became a vegetarian when I was 17, right after starting university, but I wasn’t a very good one at the beginning. In university I studied anthropology with a particular focus on food and traditional food practices, often in central and south America. A big one that always came up for Andean food culture and history was quinoa – it’s a historically important food and that importance continues today.
Of course, quinoa has caught on in the rest of the world since Andean people started cultivating it several thousand years ago. It’s even being grown in my home province, Manitoba, and my adopted country, the Netherlands. It remains one of the healthiest and most nutritionally valuable grains in the world. So I became interested in it for academic reasons, but it’s now a must have in my plant based kitchen.
We decided to go with a warm quinoa salad, featuring Tricolour Quinoa and Sprouted Green Lentils. I hadn’t tried the sprouted lentils before and they were a revelation – because they’ve already been sprouted, they just need a quick soak before eating. Combined with roasted vegetables and topped with a simple vinaigrette, this warm wintery quinoa salad is total healthy comfort food.
I roasted up some pumpkin, beets, red onion, and apples for this salad, and mixed in a handful of dried cranberries and chopped pistachios for some festive colour and flavour. The combination of the sweet, earthy fruits and veg is delicious with the bite of the grains and fresh arugula. Topped off with a lemon and ginger dressing, it’s seriously holiday ready!
This is a great holiday salad as much as an easy weeknight meal, and you could serve it on a pretty platter for guests, or keep things simple in a big bowl. Bring it to a potluck, or anytime you want to serve a crowd, or keep it all to yourself (my husband and I ate the whole thing in one evening!) as it tastes good cold too.
Roasting up the veggies only takes about half an hour, and you can cook the quinoa in the meantime. You’re only about 30 minutes away from this awesome salad! If you use a type of pumpkin that can be eaten with the skin, like hokkaido or delicata, that’ll shave off some of the prep time and speed things up. I also never peel my beets, and you don’t have to as long as they’re not huge/overwintered. It really does come together quickly and the end result is beautiful.
Just about everything in this recipe will be around right up until the end of winter, so this is a great dish to make right up until March! If you want to make this for the holidays and be extra festive, try topping it with some pomegranate arils too.
Winter Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Recipe by Alexandra, Occasionally Eggs
This holiday inspired salad features GoGo Quinoa tricolour quinoa and sprouted lentils for a festive warm salad with the best of the season. It’s easy to make but a beautiful addition to your holiday table.
For 4 servings
- 4 small beets, quartered
- ½ a small pumpkin (about 500 grams), cut into 2cm strips
- 1 large apple, thickly sliced
- 1 small red onion, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup sprouted lentils
- 1 cup tricolour quinoa
- 2 cups arugula
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pistachios, chopped
Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F.
- Place the beets, pumpkin, apple, onion, garlic, olive oil, and spices onto a large baking sheet and mix until coated. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until softened and golden.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook the lentils and quinoa according to the package instructions.
- To make the vinaigrette, add all of the ingredients to a jar or container and whisk or shake until combined.
- In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and lentils, roasted vegetables, arugula, dried cranberries, and pistachios. Top with the vinaigrette, mix, and serve warm.
Alexandra Daum, founder and creator of the vegetarian food blog Occasionally Eggs. She shares healthy, seasonal vegetarian recipes from her whole foods kitchen in the Netherlands, often inspired by her home country of Canada.