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Baked Pumpkin & Apple Quinoa Salad

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Baked Pumpkin-Apple Quinoa Salad | Here's a show-stealing side dish! Quinoa and pumpkin are a match made in heaven. With quinoa's natural nuttiness and pumpkin's natural sweetness, I think food babies are about to be conceived. Tying them together with apple is a smart move, too. | WildernessFamilyNaturals.com

Are you ready for your dish to steal the show at the Christmas table this year?

Then behold — the side dish that will be a standout on its own — Baked Pumpkin and Apple Quinoa Salad.

Don’t be fooled. Just because it’s a salad does not mean it doesn’t have some spunk.

And just because Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed does not mean pumpkin season has ended. Pumpkins, and pumpkin recipes, are still going strong!

Baked Pumpkin And Apple Quinoa Salad

For me, this recipe is about prolonging the pumpkin theme for as long as possible. Because let’s face it, I’m obsessed.

If you’ve only ever used pumpkin when it comes in a puree from a can, then it’s time to change all that.

Pumpkins are one of the most versatile foods. You can mash, puree, boil, steam, saute, deep-fry, bake, and make it sweet or savory. Once you stumble upon the rabbit hole that is pumpkin-everything, there’s no going back.

Consider yourself warned.

But here’s where it starts to heat up. Quinoa and pumpkin are a match made in heaven. With quinoa’s natural nuttiness and pumpkin’s natural sweetness, I think food babies are about to be conceived.

Tying them together with apple is a smart move, too.

Firstly, baking the pumpkin and apple brings out their natural sweetness. Secondly, it’s a healthy salad that will win over even the anti-salad crowd. Because it doesn’t really look like a salad.

How do you feel about pumpkin, quinoa, and apple together? Will you be taking this Baked Pumpkin and Apple Quinoa Salad to any holiday gatherings?

Baked Pumpkin & Apple Quinoa Salad
Quinoa and pumpkin are a match made in heaven. With quinoa's natural nuttiness and pumpkin's natural sweetness, I think food babies are about to be conceived.
Servings4 people as a side dish
Prep Time1 hour
Ingredients
Salad
Dressing
Instructions
  1. Dice the pumpkin and apple into half inch pieces.
  2. Lay the pumpkin on a baking tray and sprinkle the spice mixture over.
  3. Add the coconut oil to the pumpkin and mix through so all the pieces are evenly covered.
  4. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes. Check on their progress half way and turn the pieces over.
  5. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa before placing into a pot on the stove and submerge in water.
  6. Cook the quinoa for 15-20 minutes. Test to make sure it's cooked through. Place aside.
  7. Add the apple to the pumpkin and bake for another 15 minutes. Once cooked, place the pumpkin and apple into a seperate bowl.
  8. Strain the soaked pumpkin seeds and pat dry with a paper towel. Lay them on the baking tray, spread out evenly. Sprinkle some salt and pumpkin pie seasoning over.
  9. On a seperate baking tray, massage the salt into the chopped kale.
  10. Bake both the pumpkin seeds and kale in the oven for 5-10 minutes to cook through. Stir the pumpkin seeds half way so they don't burn. You want to bake them so the moisture is evaporated and so they become crunchy.
  11. Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
  12. Now it's time to assemble the salad. Grab a big salad bowl or plate. I like to lay the kale on the bottom. Then mix the pumpkin, apple, and quinoa together.
  13. Gently stir in the dressing. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over top.
Recipe Notes

A note about pumpkin pie spice: I've provided a spice combination to mix with the pumpkin and apple that you can use to make your own if you don't have the pre-made mix. It's more cost-effective to make your own. You can adjust the ratios of the spices to suit your taste. I love cinnamon and tend to add more of it.

If you want to make it a complete meal, add some chicken and avocado.

While the ingredients are mostly baked, it's great served warm or cold.

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  • Emily Uebergang