The Easiest Quinoa Superfoods Salad

Quinoa, spiced cinnamon & turmeric squash combine with apples, pomegranate, and pumpkin seeds to create a flavorful, and super easy superfoods salad
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Quinoa Superfoods Salad Recipe Quinoa Superfoods Salad Recipe

Like many of you, the new year has brought me resolutions that focus on food.  But unlike past years, thoughts and goals around food have shifted.  Instead of my end game being weight loss, my food goal for 2018 is to be more balanced and mindful of what I eat and how that effects my body and overall health.

As many of you know, I was a vegetarian for seven years.  You can read more about that journey here, but long story short 2017 brought the end of vegetarianism for me.  At least for now.  One of the side effects of that change was that I went on what I’ve termed a “meat bender.”  Consuming so much meat not necessarily because I wanted to, but because it was now allowed.  And because of this allowance my overall eating habits became MUCH more unhealthy.  It’s was now way easier to stop for that fast food burger and fries on the daily basis, unlike before when there was no reason to pull into the drivethru because there was nothing on the menu for me to eat!

And while my “bender,” was an unforeseen, negative side effect, one of the happier side effects of eating meat again is my stomach and intestinal issues have normalized.  So now the question becomes how do I keep the good and throw out the bad?ecause while my stomach may be doing better, my 2017 diet wrecked havoc on my sleep, weight, complexion, and energy.  Balance of course. 

This year I want to restore balance back to my daily diet, and be more mindful about every single thing I’m putting in my body.  Consuming foods that fuel my body, and re-focusing on how those foods make me feel.  For me that means minimizing my meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol and processed foods intake.  Letting vegetables, fruits, and healthy grains be the star of the show again.  Getting back to planning out, and cooking my meals. And most importantly, eating for my long-term health and not a number on the scale.

So with this newly restored focus, I’m happy to share my first meal of 2018-a super easy, Quinoa Superfoods Salad.  So what are superfoods?  According to Live Science, “Superfoods are foods — mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy — thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one’s health. Blueberries, salmon, pomegranates, nuts & seeds, squash, kale and acai are just a few examples of foods that have garnered the “superfood” label.  Superfoods have extra-large doses of vitamins and minerals that can help us ward off diseases and live a longer, healthier life.  Some of the nutrients that certain superfoods contain include antioxidants, thought to ward off cancer; healthy fats, thought to prevent heart disease; fiber, thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; or phytochemicals, the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous health benefits.” 

All great things scientifically right?! But I don’t really need science to know this Quinoa Superfoods Salad is super.  If I’m tuned into my body, I naturally know everything in this salad is great because of how amazing it makes me feel.  Chocked full of warm butternut squash flavored with good-for-you cinnamon and turmeric spices, the warm, and spicy squash pairs perfectly with the cool and tart granny smith apples and refreshing pomegranate seeds.  Then you know I’ve got to have a little crunch, which I get thanks to pumpkin seeds.  While it’s great to use heart-healthy almonds and walnuts in dishes, I love switching it up with pumpkin seeds. I find they still provide that nutty flavor I crave, but don’t overwhelm the dish.  Then I topped it with a little goat cheese for that creamy texture and cilantro because I top almost everything with cilantro.  You can of course leave these out if you’re one of the cilantro haters and if you’re avoiding dairy…the dish will not suffer.

My Quinoa Superfoods Salad is easily a main dish in itself, but if you’re slowly introducing yourself or your family to superfoods it can also be a side.  Plus it’s great the next day, warm or cold! 

At the end of the day I know I’ll still have my burgers and fries, but I look forward to enjoying those as a treat and not as a Monday thru Sunday staple.  I’d love to know do you have any 2018 goals around food? Truly, MKR

P.S. If you’re looking for a bit more balance too, check out my recipe index and click Healthy-ish or Vegetarian/Vegan Meals for a little inspiration.

Quinoa Superfoods Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 2 cups Quinoa
  2. 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  3. 2 granny smith apples, matchstick diced
  4. 1-2 cups pomegranate seeds
  5. 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  6. goat cheese crumbles (optional)
  7. Cilantro, chopped (optional)
  8. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  9. 1 tsp. turmeric
  10. 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  11. salt
  12. olive oil or coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a large, sprayed or non-stick, roasting pan lay out your butternut squash. Sprinkle with cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne & a pinch or too of salt. Drizzle with olive oil and mix together so squash is well coated. If you want to add more spices, do so now. Place in oven and let roast for 10-15 minutes or until softened and cooked through.
  3. While the squash is roasting cook quinoa per directions, cover and set aside. You want the quinoa warm when you mix up the salad.
  4. Once both the quinoa and squash is complete grab one large bowl or separate bowls. Add in quinoa as the base, then layer with squash, apples, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and top with cilantro and cheese if desired.
  5. Add salt to taste, and if you'd like a bit of citrus olive oil. Enjoy!
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  • You really can’t beat a superfood salad! Especially with some delicious goat cheese crumble on top. With my mission to eat more healthy, I’m going to have to give this recipe a try.

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