Wednesday, November 22, 2017

#Thanksgiving butternut squash quinoa #salad from author @DarylWoodgerber

🦃 Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃


So I was going to share a lovely new "green" salad recipe (using Brussels sprouts)  for the holidays, but then I saw our first Thanksgiving recipe included Brussels sprouts recipe and I thought, hmm, I think I'll save that and share it closer to Christmas because it's green and red and, well, perfect!  Stay tuned...

In the meantime, I found this recipe online and decided I simply had to make it. You need easy around the holidays, don't you? I sure do! I mean, we have mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and stuffing. All pretty easy to make. And turkey and gravy and, well, everything is tried and true and we expect it, right?

But how about adding something new, with delicious flavors that enhance the rest of the meal? Something you can make days ahead and reheat or serve room temp? Oh, yeah! It's vegetarian. It's actually gluten-free. It's low in calories and fat. If you need to, use sodium-free broth and omit the salt. It's packed with plenty of other flavors.  Enjoy!

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and may you make good memories.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Found on the Internet on a site called Well Plated.  HERE 

But I’ve added a few tweaks and notes... so here's my version.

Makes about 7 cups – plenty for a crowd



1/2 small red onion, diced (about ¼ cup)
1 small (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch chunks (I cheated and bought it already cut – so easy!)
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ cups chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa * see my note below
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) – or you can add pecans, if no allergies
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with water. (I had no idea, but learned this on the website – this keeps the onion’s flavor but helps soften its harsh bite and onion aftertaste!  Love learning something new.)

Place the butternut squash in the center of a large rimmed baking sheet. (I set mine on top of parchment paper, which helped with cleanup.)  Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss to evenly coat, then spread the squash into a single layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

While the squash is baking, in a medium pan, bring the broth and quinoa to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Then transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl. * (My note: I think this is too much quinoa for the recipe. It dominated the squash. It makes nearly 3 cups. I’d probably use 2 cups and reserve 1 cup for another use.)

For the dressing, in a small bowl or large measuring cup, mix olive oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa and stir.

Scrape the roasted butternut squash into the bowl with the quinoa. Add cranberries, pepitas, parsley, and thyme. Drain the red onion then add it to the bowl. Toss to combine.   *(Another note from me; if the cranberries are sticking together, rinse with hot water before adding to the mixture. This will help them separate.)

Serve salad warm or at room temperature.

A few extra suggestions: You can eat this by itself- delicious – or put it on top of a bed of greens. If you feel like it, you can add a cheese, like feta or Gorgonzola.

If you don’t have butternut squash, you could use sweet potatoes but they might need longer to cook. A fork should slide easily in and out after baking.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

What are you serving for the holidays?


Here's a bit about my latest book!

Mimi Rousseau is throwing the bistro’s first wedding—the nuptials of a famous talk show host. She is sure things will go awry when the bride’s father shows up drunk to the out-of-towners’ dinner. By the end of the evening, things look sweet again…until the next morning, when her benefactor is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. All fingers point at Mimi, whose loan is forgiven if he dies. It’s up to her to éclair—er, clear—her name before the killer turns up the heat.


"Talk about a culinary delight, this book is the pinnacle of deliciousness as I devoured all that was written in this exciting new series featuring Mimi and her friends." ~ Dru's Book Musings

"I have been looking forward to the book since I first saw the cover pop up on Facebook and it certainly exceeded my expectations. As a fan of the author’s Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I knew the characters would be strong and the food descriptions would have my mouth watering and I was right." ~ Escape with Dollycas Blog

Savor the mystery!

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A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, the 1st in the French Bistro Mysteries, is coming November 2017. Can Mimi clear her name before the killer turns up the heat? Click here to order.

GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is out!
The Wild West Extravaganza has come to Crystal Cove.
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the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery is out!
Finally there's going to be a cheese festival in Providence!
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When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
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A mother he thought was dead. A father he never knew. 
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  1. That does sound lovely. Pretty, too.
    Roasted butternut is yummy.

    My rule of thumb for the holidays is, "Eat enough, but not TOO much!" (Indulge, but don't make yourself miserable.)

    1. Libby, I'm with you. If you feel miserable, the next few days are awful. There are always leftovers. :) ~ Daryl

  2. Daryl, I LOVE butternut squash and this looks terrific -- I know I'll make it sometime soon. But I must say, I don't think buying the squash already peeled and cut is cheating at all!

    1. It will save you from cut fingers and that's worth something!

    2. Leslie and Peg, I agree. Not worth cutting fingers! And the fact that grocers (or produce sellers) have figured this out is wonderful, IMHO. ~ Daryl

  3. I make a lot of quinoa salads in the summer with tomatoes and cukes, etc., but this is great to have to serve in the winter since we love quinoa!

    1. Isn't it yummy? I had a quinoa avocado power bowl recently that I'm itching to make at home -- and it even included cut squash!

    2. I have to admit, I'm not a quinoa fan, but in this recipe, it really worked for me. ~ Daryl (PS Love avocado)

  4. This salad looks delish. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Kristi, glad you like it. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! ~ Daryl