A simple roasted butternut squash salad

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 20, 2015

butternutsquashsaladwarmvegan

Last year my dear friend Karly mentioned that she started seeing a business coach. She was struggling to find balance with her quickly growing career while juggling a busy personal life, and found some much needed support and accountability with a coach. Consider me intrigued! I admire her for taking the initiative to get outside help with running her own business, and for gently planting the seed in my own mind. As I wrote in my last post, asking for help has never been my forte, but I’m lucky to be surrounded by many self employed friends who are always eager to share their sanity-saving tips.

Life got busier than ever with our new family and work. The business coach idea fell off my radar, as I didn’t think I could add one more thing to an already full plate. Looking back, it probably would’ve helped me more than it didn’t, but recently, it was as if the universe was giving me a gentle nudge to go for it. Don’t you love when that happens? First, our friend Chris mentioned his business coach, and what a great experience he’s had over the years. Then, I saw Karly recently and she told me she’s been seeing her coach for over a year now with amazing success (and I’ve noticed the positive changes, too). Well, that was it. In the words of my girl crush Mindy Kaling, Why not me?! I decided right then and there that I would make time to give it a shot.

Our first session started with an exploratory exercise. My coach presented me with “The Wheel of Life”. It has various labels on it like “career”, “fun”, “personal growth”, “money”, “significant other”, “health”, “friends/family”, etc. Then I rated each one on a numerical scale from least to most satisfaction. The poor little wheel was so imbalanced by the time I was finished. I wasn’t the least bit surprised since I’ve felt like a wagon with 3 wheels for a while now, but this exercise helped me decide on a few areas to improve. Even though my original intent was to focus on business, I realized that personal growth, or lack thereof, impacts every single area of my life. I think it makes sense to start with this area as I’m sure it’ll have a positive impact on all the other areas too. I’m in my early thirties, but I occasionally feel like my personal growth is stuck in the last decade (or on bad days, maybe my first decade of life, hah). Is this just me, or can you relate to that feeling?

I can’t even tell you how many insights I had in our first session. We set some goals in a few categories, and I came up with some potential solutions to issues. Before we met, I decided that I wasn’t going to sugar coat things or make excuses for myself; as a result, our conversation was authentic, passionate, real, and inspiring. One thing I love is the accountability that I now have to follow though with goals. Rather than simply saying, “oh I’d love to hire a team some day…”, I’m actively moving forward with the goal! I don’t want to stand in my own way anymore. It’s amazing how much we can hold ourselves back by telling ourselves the same stories each day. The question is – what would YOU do if you got out of your own way?

howtoroastbutternutsquash

4.7 from 23 reviews
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A Simple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

This is my favourite method for cooking butternut squash—chopping it into small cubes and roasting until it's caramelized. I have to exercise some serious restraint not to eat the whole pan straight from the oven! The roasted cubes of butternut squash are layered on a base of fluffy quinoa and topped with creamy chopped avocado, sea salt, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. It's super simple, but delightful. My best tip is to make sure you season this salad properly. Quinoa and roasted squash will fall flat without a generous seasoning of sea salt, so don't be shy. I also like to keep some Herbamare on hand when serving so others can season with additional salt if desired. Be sure to see my Tips below on the many ways you can change up this salad! Thank you to my friend Karly for inspiring this recipe. She brought this salad to a recent get-together and I knew I had to try recreating it at home.

Yield
4 to 6 servings
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

For the roasted butternut squash:
  • 1 large (3-pound/1.4 kg) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
For the salad:
  • 1 cup (200 g) uncooked quinoa
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • Fresh lemon or lime juice, to taste
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. For the squash: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the chopped squash onto the baking sheets and drizzle 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil, if using) over each sheet. Toss to coat. Spread the squash into an even layer (being careful not to overcrowd the squash) and sprinkle with a few pinches of sea salt.
  3. Roast the squash until the bottoms are just starting to brown in some spots, about 40 to 55 minutes. I don’t bother flipping the squash, but you can if you'd like.
  4. For the salad: Once your squash are about 25 minutes from being done, begin preparing the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a medium pot. Add 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender and fluffy. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and remove from heat. Season the quinoa with salt and pepper to taste (I recommend a generous amount) and stir to combine. Keep the lid on until ready to use so it stays warm.
  5. Just before assembly, pit and chop the avocado so it’s ready to go.
  6. When the squash is finished cooking, spread the warm quinoa onto a platter or spoon it into a large bowl. While the squash is still hot, spoon it on top of the quinoa before adding the chopped avocado. Garnish with a couple more pinches of salt and a small amount of fresh lemon juice (or lime juice) drizzled over top (you can also try lemon or lime zest for a twist). I use a light touch with lemon juice as it can quickly overwhelm the other flavours. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

Nutrition Information

Tips:

Want to change this recipe up? Here are some fun ideas for how you can create a new dish!

- Add some minced garlic to the cooked quinoa for a subtle garlic flavour

- Sprinkle some garlic powder or nutritional yeast on top

- Boost the protein by adding black beans, chickpeas, or any bean of choice

- Try experimenting with spice combinations like cumin + chili powder + cayenne; cinnamon + nutmeg; curry powder + coriander, etc.

- Finish with fresh minced herbs such as parsley or cilantro

- Sprinkle my Pecan Parmesan on top for a nutty crunch

- Add finely shredded kale, chard, or spinach for a boost of green power

roastedbutternutsquashsalad

Photography credit: Ashley McLaughlin Photography

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

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Juliana C November 6, 2015 at 10:34 am
Recipe Rating:

The warm buttery squash and the cool salty avocado are the perfect contrast for a dish that tastes simply incredible and ideal for fall. Cooking with butternut squash always seemed like a chore in the past because I never knew where to begin, but the pictures on the here showed me exactly how to do it. I love this entire blog and my cookbook so much! Thank you Angela!

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Sara @SaraLou Yoga November 8, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Yes, we limit our own selves far more than anyone else.

Love butternut squash for this time of year! xo

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Krista November 15, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Wow! I just started working with a business coach too, so this post caught my eye. I was so relieved to hear how common it is as an entrepreneur to have similar struggles as other self-employed people. I think its really great to seek help from someone who guides people in business professionally. Way to go!

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Keele November 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm
Recipe Rating:

I love all the ingredients in this recipe but the textures didn’t complement each other because, aside from the quinoa, they were the same. Lots of mushy squares! Tasty mushy squares but I’m texture sensitive :D

Thanks for everything you do Angela – I frequent your page daily and make a lot of your recipes!

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Erin November 18, 2015 at 9:23 pm
Recipe Rating:

Welp. I’m now a butternut squash believer. I honestly was slightly scared to try this recipe due to my lack of expertise with butternut squash, but I’m sure glad I gave it a try! It is absolutely wonderful!! I added some fresh garlic into the quinoa as well as some black beans. SO delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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Heidi November 19, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Thank you, thank you! For all you’ve done for me and my family! We love your blog and love your cookbook. You have made our transition to a plant based diet incredibly delicious! You are very talented- thank you for sharing that talent with the world! This salad is to die for, by the way!!!

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Sara November 20, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Love this! Ive been looking for a new way to use butternut squash and I love quinoa. This will be a great fall salad when its just too cold for the usual summer salads. Going to try this for lunch! I will be back with a great rating im sure :)
Thanks!
Sara www.wholistickitchen.com

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Libby December 15, 2015 at 7:44 am
Recipe Rating:

This recipe was decidedly underwhelming. Every item in the dish has basically the same texture (soft/mushy). I added the black beans as Angela suggested and those were pretty much the same texture, too. It needed some crunch, and I added some pumpkin seeds to the leftovers when I ate them. I also found the tastes of the items too similar. The squash is sweet, the quinoa is relatively bland, and avocados are relatively bland. It needed something else to keep the palate from getting bored.

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Jen December 18, 2015 at 7:26 pm

looks good- anyone know if this would work with roasted sweet potato instead of squash? looking for a recipe to bring for Christmas dinner and this looks great, but haven’t cooked with squash before…

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Shannon January 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm

I avoid recipes that call for peeling a squash — it’s such hard work! Any tips on how to do it less painfully?

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Dr. Leach January 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made this last night and it was out of this world! Thank you!!!

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Preeti Mathur January 30, 2016 at 3:26 am

Nice recipe and its healthy too. Thank you for sharing.

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Lanae February 3, 2016 at 9:41 pm
Recipe Rating:

Simple and delicious. I made this for dinner tonight. I seasoned the baked squash with pepper, garlic powder, and a bit of salt. I also added some chopped kale and fresh parsley and cilantro on top. And lastly a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Oh and green onion. I already had some chopped up so why not use it up! It was good. Thanks for the recipe!

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Amy February 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm
Recipe Rating:

SOOOO Good! I made this for our Christmas Eve Dinner and it was a hit! Don’t go stingy on the fresh lemons and sea salt! Also, the the browner you bake the butternut squash, the better! I practically burned my butternut squash and was nervous it would be terrible, but it actually made it incredible and sweet!

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Andrea January 23, 2018 at 8:27 pm
Recipe Rating:

I love this recipe! It is so delicious!!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2018 at 11:44 am

Thanks Andrea! Glad to hear it :)

Reply

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