Warm Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad

It is well documented that I am a woman who is not shy about eating carbs, red meat, or decadent desserts. In fact, I don’t think I have ever been shy about eating any type of food.  That love of all things food has started to expand to things I didn’t really grow up with, like quinoa and kale. Those two ingredients have been fairly recent revelations for me and I am hooked. It’s fantastic to know that there are these amazing, healthy power foods that also are so tasty to eat. Case in point is this warm Middle Eastern quinoa salad. I’ve put the deep flavors of my beloved Middle Eastern cuisine into one power packed salad that acts as a complete meal.  The best part is I got it on the table in less than 30 minutes!

The amazing mixture for the warm Middle Eastern quinoa salad. So much flavor!
The mixture for the warm Middle Eastern quinoa salad was absolutely packed with goodness like chickpeas, butternut squash, spices and kale. I have to admit that I cheated a little and bought my butternut squash pre-diced. Once everything went into the pan it was filled to the brim, but I promise it cooked down!
The fragrant cooked quinoa for the warm Middle Eastern quinoa salad.
While the salad mixture cooked, I made the quinoa portion of the dish. The uncooked quinoa cooked in stock for extra flavor just until tender. I loved how the little tendrils popped out. Once it finished cooking, I fluffed it up with a fork.

I transferred the quinoa into the pan with the rest of the glorious warm Middle Eastern quinoa salad ingredients and gave everything a big toss. It was as easy as that! I scooped it out into big bowls and topped the salads off with roughly chopped cilantro for some extra freshness. Oh my goodness, this salad was the total package. I may sound bizarre saying this but it was meaty without having one bit of meat in it. Marc and I felt full just having one serving, so there were leftovers for the next day! Quick, so flavorful and really healthy…this warm Middle Eastern quinoa salad was my kind of meal!

Warm Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad
Warm Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad

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Warm Middle Eastern Salad
Warm Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Course: Main Course, Salad
Servings: 4
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
FOR THE SALAD
  • 1 dash truffle infused olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can chick peas with half the liquid reserved
  • 1 pound butternut squash diced
  • 3 packed cups kale leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 pinches truffle sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 dash blueberry balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
FOR THE QUINOA
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup uncooked plain quinoa
  • fresh cilantro roughly chopped as needed for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large rondeau pan over medium high heat. Add the beans with half of the bean liquid and the butternut squash and let them simmer together for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in the kale leaves, dried apricots, currants, garlic, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, coriander, walnuts, blueberry balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar and vegetable stock. Give the mixture a stir and turn the heat to low. Let it all meld together for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the quinoa. In a small pot bring the vegetable stock to a boil. While it is heating up add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, coriander and salt for flavor. Once the stock is boiling, pour the quinoa into it and give it a stir. Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Let the quinoa cook for 12-15 minutes, until the liquid is all absorbed and it is tender.
  4. When the quinoa is done cooking, transfer it into the pan with the rest of the salad mixture and toss it all together. Then just scoop it into bowls and top it with a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

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