The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Acorn Squash and Red Quinoa Harvest Salad

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Level: Easy

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Description

A healthy and delicious salad, perfect for Thanksgiving but it really can be enjoyed any time of year. It can really stand on its own as a main dish and is just the perfect side for some grilled meat or fish. Please do not be put off by the ingredients list—this salad is worth making and lasts for days in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (about 14 Oz.) Red Quinoa Or 2 Cups Quinoa
  • 2 cups Brussels Sprouts, Sliced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt, Or To Taste
  • ½ teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper, Or To Taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 4 stalks Green Onions, Sliced
  • 1 can (small Size, 8 Oz.) Water Chestnuts
  • 1 cup Dried Cranberries (Craisins)
  • 2-½ cups Apple Cider, Divided
  • 8 slices Prosciutto (optional)
  • 2 whole Acorn Squash
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Organic Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinammon
  • 1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Allspice
  • ¼ pounds Feta Cheese, Or To Taste (optional)
  • ¼ pounds Goat Cheese, Or To Taste (optional)

Preparation

Cook quinoa according to package directions.

Clean outer layers of Brussels sprouts and then slice in half lengthwise, then each half into 4 pieces. Clean and slice celery on a diagonal, approximately the same size as the Brussels sprouts .

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add Brussels sprouts and saute until they turn a light brown colour. Then add the celery, some salt and freshly ground pepper. Saute until the vegetables just start to soften.

Meanwhile, chop the red and yellow peppers into chunky squares. Slice the green onions on a diagonal and drain and roughly chop the water chestnuts. Add all these ingredients to the pan and stir until combined and the peppers barely start to soften. You just need to take the rawness out of the peppers.

Season again with salt and pepper and DO NOT overcook at this point or the Brussels sprouts will become bitter .

Remove from the pan and add to the cooked and cooled quinoa. Toss to combine—it should very colourful.

Add the Craisins (dried cranberries) and 1 1/2 cups apple cider into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Then simmer for about 3 minutes until the Craisins soften and the cider has reduced ever so slightly. Add this to the quinoa salad.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F. Place the prosciutto slices onto a sheet pan lined with parchement paper and bake until it becomes crispy. Keep an eye on the time as each oven varies—it should take about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Clean and slice the acorn squash (do not remove the peel) into 1-inch-thick slices. Saute slices in a combination of butter and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, then place in an oven-proof dish. Place the rest of the ingredients (remaining 1 cup apple cider, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice) in a cup and mix well. Pour over the squash and bake until slightly brown and cooked through.

When all is done and cooled, get out your best platter. Arrange the squash in an artful manner on the platter, then pile on the quinoa salad mix and top with either prosciutto or feta/goat cheese.

Enjoy!

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