If you are looking for a wicked easy Thanksgiving side dish, or even just a healthy, seasonal vegetarian lunch. then this little mix of dried cranberries, quinoa, and butternut squash is for you. In an effort to be slightly healthier and order less takeaway (We are failing.), I have been trying to put together a handful of simple ingredients to make dinners that turn into lunch leftovers.
This very simple dish starts with quinoa, cooked according to the package instructions, while chunks of butternut squash are roasting in the oven.
The dressing is a mix of apple cider, a tiny bit of maple syrup, olive oil, and hot paprika. It sounds a little weird, but it reminds me of this harvest salad I made many moons ago. For this quinoa recipe, I made just enough dressing so that the quinoa wasn’t dry and there was some nice flavor. I mix everything to taste; it’s the only way to get a recipe just perfect for you!
Once the quinoa and butternut squash are done, mix in the dried cranberries and dressing. Mixing the cranberries into a warm quinoa softens and plumps them up a bit, making for a nice texture. The final step for this salad, once it’s at room temperature, is to crumble in some goat or feta cheese, depending on your preference. There you have yourself a delicious and nutritious side dish, lunch or light dinner.
I know it’s not very exciting, and definitely not an exact science, but it’s meals like this that I create on the fly that keep me from giving up on cooking entirely when I would much rather call for a pizza.
What are some of your favorite on-the-fly easy meals?