Fall Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Apples and Pecans

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Bring on the fall flavors! While I am a summer girl at heart (I know, don’t shame me), I love the rich flavors associated with this cooler time of year. Let’s just ignore the fact that it is almost fall in Georgia, but it is still 95 degrees! Needless to say, I’ll miss my heirloom tomatoes, but am so looking forward to hot soups, root vegetables, apple cider and so much more! How am a celebrating the changing seasons? With this fall quinoa salad with roasted vegetables, crisp apple, toasted pecans and a lemon thyme vinaigrette. Talk about a delicious, hearty and healthier dish! Even better, this salad is incredibly versatile and can be substituted with your favorite vegetables and flavors – even roasted pumpkin for all of the pumpkin lovers out there!

Dressing Ingredients

1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

Salad Ingredients

2 cups cooked quinoa (note: make sure the quinoa is completely cooled)
2 small sweet potatoes, cubed
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
2 tablespoon pecans, toasted and chopped
1 small gala apple, or other apple of choice, chopped

 

Begin by whisking together the honey, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper and thyme for the dressing. Once mixed, slowly add the olive oil and continue to whisk. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cubed sweet potatoes, broccoli florets and sliced red onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Mix together. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked and slightly golden. Allow the vegetables to cool once done.

Prepare the quinoa to the package instructions. If you want to add extra flavor, add a teaspoon of vegetable “Better than Bouillon” to the pot. Once cooked, allow the quinoa to cool. You can also make this ahead of time for less prep time.

 To assemble the salad, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables, spinach, apple and pecans. Mix to combine. Add anywhere between 2-3 tablespoons (based on your flavor preference) of the lemon thyme dressing and mix together. Optional: top with additional pecans and apple slices. Serve and enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas