honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad

This is not your average butternut squash recipe!

My mom went to a farm in Connecticut last week and brought us back loads of butternut squash.  I wanted to try something a little different then the normal “fall” flavors so, I added cumin, lime and sesame seeds.

We don’t eat much dairy in our house so, I always try to sneak calcium rich ingredients into our meals.  Sesame seeds are such a great source of calcium, 88 mg in only 1 tablespoon!  They have such a mild flavor and can be added to almost anything…smoothies, raw dough balls, baked goods, salads, you  name it!  For a little calcium boost, I always sprinkle sesame seeds onto Noah’s meals (he has no idea!).

honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad ~V/GF~

Honey Lime Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

2 cups butternut squash, cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups quinoa, cooked

1 cup red cabbage, thinly chopped

3 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad ~V/GF~

For the Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey (agave if vegan)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

dash cumin

salt and pepper to taste

honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad ~V/GF~

-Toss butternut squash in a drizzle of olive oil, place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until tender.  Let cool.

-In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, butternut squash, red cabbage, scallions and sesame seeds.

-Meanwhile, whisk together dressing ingredients, pour over salad and mix until well combined.


honey lime butternut squash and quinoa salad ~V/GF~


crunchy quinoa salad with peanut sauce

This weekend I met a very sweet woman who said she started eating quinoa since reading my blog!  It made me so happy to hear that a) people are reading my blog and b) they are trying the recipes and eating healthy food!

So, what’s all the hype over quinoa about?  Pronounced Keen-Wah.  Quinoa is actually not a grain, it’s a seed!  Originating thousands of years ago in Central and South America it was used by the Incas to increase endurance and stamina.

Red and White Quinoa

Red and White Quinoa

Quinoa is gluten-free for all those out there with gluten sensitivities and is a great substitution for rice or pasta.  It contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein, great for vegans and vegetarians!  It has tons of fiber (unlike the white processed alternatives) which can be helpful in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and controlling glucose levels.  The phytonutrients found in quinoa make it an anti-inflammatory food, lowering risk of cardiac disease and cancer.  Quinoa is also rich in iron and magnesium, which is essential for energy production and the formation of bone.

Try it out using my new favorite recipe!

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut sauce

Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Peanut Sauce

Adapted from www.ambitiouskitchen.com


1 cup cooked quinoa

1-2 cups shredded red cabbage

1 red or orange bell pepper, diced

½ red onion, diced

1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup chopped cilantro

¼ cup diced green onions

 crunchy quinoa salad with peanut sauce

For the dressing

¼ cup all natural peanut butter

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

3 tablespoons Bragg’s Amino Acids

1 tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons water

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut sauce


Prepare all salad ingredients and place in a large mixing bowl.

In a food processor, combine all dressing ingredients.  Blend until well combined adding water as necessary until desired consistency is created.

Add 1 cup of cooked, cooled quinoa to the vegetables.  Pour dressing on top and mix until vegetables are well coated.

 crunchy quinoa salad with peanut dressing

The original recipe added 1 cup of edamame or chickpeas and garnished with cashews and lime.  I think all three ingredients would be a lovely addition to the salad!

I served the quinoa over a bed of greens and topped with tempeh that was sautéed in coconut oil and Bragg’s Amino Acids.  I also added a sprinkle of black sesame seeds!  For a non-vegetarian/vegan meal you could add grilled chicken or shrimp.

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut dressing

The peanut sauce was excellent, wish I had made extra!

Hope you enjoy it too!

Stop on by GLOW YOGA on May 18th for the 2 year anniversary celebration, I will be making this quinoa salad!