This colorful and healthy fall harvest quinoa salad is packed with butternut squash, brussels sprouts, apples and cranberries. Perfect for parties!
Thank you Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post!
I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving this year with my friends and family more than ever.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself lapsing into long periods of self reflection, and I’ve been thinking a lot about being a food blogger.
Some of you may know that I come from a very humble background. Before immigrating to America, my family lived in a small village in China. They weren’t exactly dirt poor, but even something like sugar, which to us seems so commonplace, was a luxury. Can you imagine that? And here I am, making a living from something that didn’t come easily for them. I am so dang grateful to be in this position, and I can’t wait to show my thanks to my family next week.
Now, I am that crazy person who craves a healthy salad during my Thanksgiving meal. Between the turkey, the mashed potatoes, my sister’s artichoke dip and Mama Lin’s fried dumplings and sticky rice, Thanksgiving dinner can become a heavy ordeal quickly. Midway through the meal, I’m desperate for the taste of greens and other bright vegetables.
Today, I’m excited to partner with Bob’s Red Mill today to bring you a simple quinoa salad filled with my favorite fall fruits and vegetables. I particularly love their organic tri-color quinoa because it gives an extra pop of color to my dishes.
If you know any brussels sprouts skeptics, this salad is a great dish to get them to warm up to the vegetable. The brussels sprouts are thinly sliced, so their flavor won’t be so intense so as to put people off.
This fall harvest salad is truly a celebration of all the sweet and savory flavors of fall. Hope you enjoy it!
MASTERING MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES
- Flavoring the salad: I added light flavors to this quinoa salad because I wanted to be able to taste the fruits and vegetables. During one of my test batches, I added cumin into the mix, which ended up overpowering EVERYTHING. My suggestion: feel free to add whatever herbs and spices you want to the salad, but keep a fairly light hand.
- Preparing the butternut squash: Try to chop the butternut squash into small-ish pieces (about 1/4 to 1/2-inch chunks). They will cook a lot faster that way. Plus, nobody wants a massive chunk of butternut squash in their salad. Also, I used to make the mistake of over-salting my butternut squash. The tiniest pinch of salt will make a big difference, so don’t make the same mistake I did!
- Sautéing the brussels sprouts: I found that when I sautéed the brussels sprouts a little longer, its flavors became more intense. Depending on how you like your sprouts, this could be a good or bad thing. Just make note of it!
KITCHEN TIP: HOW TO PEEL & CUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes by leaving a comment or sending me a message! Or take a photo of the food and tag me on Instagram so that I can give you a fist bump! Seeing your creations makes my day!