Winter always seems to be a bit of a hard time to eat salads. I don't know whether it's the cold temps or the grey skies, but I struggle to eat salads in the winter! I always end up ditching my salad for a hot bowl of soup or a heavy sandwich. However, after a week of vacation where I basically turned into a human vacuum, I was actually craving veggies and salad! So I whipped up this easy, hearty winter salad.
I enjoyed eating this salad so much that I meal prepped it for two weeks in a row! The wintery squash paired with the filling quinoa tricked my tastebuds into thinking I was not eating a salad. The cranberries and apple add a sweet zing and the walnuts add a slightly bitter taste that prevents the sweet notes from overpowering the salad. I didn't go crazy with the dressing, just a simple drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar does the trick!
Winter Quinoa and Kale Salad
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups spiralized butternut squash (save time and buy them spiralized at the grocery)
- 8 cups baby kale/arugual mix
- 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small pot on your stove, add quinoa, water and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed by the quinoa (about 10 min). Remove from heat and set aside.
Place spiralized butternut squash on an ungreased baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes until noodles are soft. Set aside.
In four plastic prep containers or plates, evenly divide kale/arugula mix. Top with cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash, apple, cranberries, nuts and finish with a drizzle of vinegar. Easily saves for 3-4 days in the fridge.