Warm Pumpkin Spinach and Quinoa Salad
Winter is basically on our doorstep. Instead of despairing, which I find easy to do in the face of cold weather, I am focusing my attention on all the wonderful things that fall has to offer. For me, that means chestnuts, turmeric lattes, falling leaves, fire places and everything pumpkin. The other things that help keep my spirits up in this transition phase are warm salads. They let me hold on to that feeling of summer a little longer, while making the most of all the wonderful fall produce. Over the next weeks I am going to share a couple of my favourite warm salad recipes, starting with this delicious pumpkin spinach and quinoa salad. This recipe is really easy to throw together, super nutritious and keeps really well, making it a great candidate to batch cook and take along for lunch the next day!
Enjoy! Love Michelle xo
PS: In the photo for this recipe I have substituted the spinach for Kale, which I have massaged with a little olive oil, gently steamed on top of the pumpkin, then served on the side instead of mixed through. Both taste great so just swap it out depending what you have available!
- 700g Pumpkin (to yield approx. 2 cups chopped flesh)
- 2 handfuls Baby Spinach leaves (alternatively use Kale)
- 1 tablespoon Fresh rosemary, remove leaves from stalk and finely chop
- 1 cup Quinoa
- Small handful Almonds or Hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 large (or 2 small) cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- Spice seasoning mix:
- ½ teaspoon (or to taste) Herb Salt (like Herbamare)
- ½ teaspoon Cumin powdered
- ½ teaspoon Corriander powdered
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- 5 pinches Cinnamon
- 1 pinch (or to taste) Chillies ground / chilli powder
- 1.5 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Tahini
- 3 tablespoons Tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)
- Small saucepan
- Wok or deep frying pan (important – it needs to have a lid)
- Peel the pumpkin and cut the flesh into small cubes (approx. 1cmx1cmx1cm). Set aside.
- Make the seasoning mix: combine the salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon and chilli in a small bowl and set aside
- Prepare the Quinoa: rinse 1 cup dried quinoa thoroughly in a sieve. Drain then put in a small saucepan. Add 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil. After it starts boiling, reduce to a simmer, put the lid on, and leave it on a low heat for approx. 15 mins until all the water is absorbed. Check it every 5 mins or so and “fluff” it with a fork. When ready remove from heat and leave to sit with the lid on.
- While the quinoa is cooking, place olive oil in a deep saucepan or wok (one that you have a lid for) on medium heat. When the oil is warm place the diced garlic in and the finely chopped rosemary. When starting to brown, place the diced pumpkin in the pan and mix it around until it is coated in the oil.
- Place a lid on the saucepan. Keep checking it every minute or so and stirring the pumpkin around and reducing the heat slightly if needed. When some pieces of pumpkin are starting to brown, mix the seasoning mix through until all pumpkin is well coated. Place the lid on again. Stir the pumpkin every few minutes, if it sticks too much add a small splash of water to the pan.
- When the pumpkin is cooked (it will be soft), place the baby spinach leaves on top and put the lid back on to let them steam for about a minute. When steamed, remove lid and mix pumpkin and spinach together.
- Place quinoa in a bowl. Place pumpkin and spinach mixture on the top. Sprinkle chopped almonds on the top and then pour the dressing over it all.