Grilled squash salad with kale and quinoa.

Healthy Recipe: Grilled Squash Salad with Kale and Quinoa

This Spring, we’re starting a new series…Healthy Recipes!

We’re taking back our health in order to begin to live the life God intended. Join us each week for new recipes here at Westa.org. 

Colorful, warm, and very satisfying, our Grilled Squash Salad with Kale and Quinoa combines dark leafy greens, twp kinds of squash, and organic red quinoa. We’ve tossed our ingredients with an easy-to-make, sweet-and-tangy Orange Dijon Dressing (please see below).

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is an ancient, rice-like ‘super-food’ which  is loaded with antioxidants, minerals, and anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy nutrients.

Butternut squash is rich in vitamins and beta-carotene. It’s also low in fat and high in fiber, which makes it a great, heart-healthy food. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.

And kale has zero fat, can help lower cholesterol, has high iron and calcium content, and is known to be a great detox food. No wonder these foods have become so popular!

You can serve this salad with grilled salmon for added protein – but it’s a full meal all by itself.  

 

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Grilled Squash Salad with Kale & Quinoa

½ butternut squash, cut into ½” cubes

2 yellow Summer squash, sliced lengthwise into ¼ ” slices

1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped into ½” strips

1 head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into large pieces

½ cup of organic red quinoa

1 cup of water

¼ cup of chopped toasted pecans

I clove of garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 teaspoons of seasoned salt

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of coarse-ground black pepper

Orange Dijon Dressing (below)

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cubed butternut squash with cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and seasoned salt.

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Toss until coated. Spread in a single layer onto baking sheet.

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Place onto the top rack of the oven and roast about 15 minutes until tender; the squash should turn a rich, orange color *(while you’re waiting, you can prepare our Orange Dijon Dressing; see below).  Remove from oven and set aside.

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In a medium frying pan, add one teaspoon of olive oil; sauté garlic until light brown.  Add kale and ½ cup of water; season with ½ teaspoon of salt, sauté about 10 minutes until bright green and softened. Remove to a bowl; keep warm.

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In a medium saucepan,  combine the quinoa, water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium pot.

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Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered 10 minutes. Remove quinoa to a small bowl; keep warm.

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Brush yellow squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with seasoned salt and remaining black pepper.

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Brush griddle with two teaspoons of olive oil.

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Heat; add squash slices to griddle. After 5 minutes, check for grill marks; then turn.  Grill remaining side; remove to dish, keep warm.

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Now that you have all of the elements prepared, it’s time to assemble!

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Add 3/4 of the chopped pecans to the quinoa (reserve 1/4 for a garnish); blend.

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Add lettuce and kale to a large bowl.  Add dressing; toss. 

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Add quinoa-pecan blend to the lettuce-kale mixture.  

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Spoon mixture into a large serving bowl.

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Layer with butternut and yellow squash and remaining pecans.

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Serves 4.

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ORANGE DIJON DRESSING: Combine ¼ cup of orange juice, ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of coarse mustard, 1 teaspoon of honey.  Mix well. Enjoy!


*HELPFUL TIPS:

  • While the butternut squash is roasting, you can use the time to prepare other elements, like the kale, lettuce or dressing.
  • This recipe has several moving parts, so it might help to prepare some items ahead of time.
  • You can also substitute cooked barley or farrow for the quinoa.

Genesis 2:9 – And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.