Warm Squash Quinoa Salad


I feel like I haven't cooked anything the whole month of December. I know that isn't true, but it feels like we haven't had a "normal" meal in a long time. It feels good to start to get back to the routine and eat our familiar and healthy homemade dinners again. This warm quinoa salad with butternut squash, veggie sausage, and dried cranberries is a delicious and easy winter meal that is healthy and satisfying.


I love using red quinoa in this dish because of the deep red color in contrast to the bright orange squash, but you could use any quinoa you have on hand. The maple Dijon vinaigrette is the perfect tanginess and sweetness to balance out the sweet squash and the tart cranberries.


Buy the pre-peeled and chopped butternut squash from the grocery store and whip this up for your week of work lunches, or make a big hearty dinner for two. It's a great meal to have in your back pocket for whenever you need a simple and fortifying dish. Enjoy!


Ingredients
2 cups chopped butternut squash (should be small pieces, about 1/2 inch)
4 Tbsp olive oil, separated
1 cup dry red quinoa
2 vegan sausages, diced
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, place butternut squash and drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender, tossing halfway through. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cook quinoa in 2 cups of simmering water for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is fluffy and all the water is absorbed. In a small skillet over medium heat, heat sausage for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add frozen peas for an additional 3-5 minutes or until warm. Set aside. In a measuring cup, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper. In a large serving bowl, toss quinoa, butternut squash, dried cranberries, sausage and peas. Drizzle dressing over the top and toss again to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

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