Roasted Acorn Squash and Quinoa Salad

This salad can be a meal in itself and includes crunchy raw peppers and wilted spinach.

Peel and thinly slice 1/2 of a large onion or a whole medium onion.

Cut an Acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Following the ridges on the squash, slice it into wedges 1/2″ thick.  Cut the wedges in half lengthwise if you prefer them smaller.

Toss the wedges and the sliced onion in 3 T. olive oil mixed with salt plus 1/2 t. paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until they are nicely browned on the bottom.  Flip the slices over and sprinkle with 2 T. sesame seeds.  Continue roasting until the squash and onions are browned and tender.  Remove and allow to cool.

While the squash is cooking, rinse 1 C. dried quinoa well and then bring to a boil with 1 1/4 C. water.  Cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.  Uncover and fluff the quinoa, then cover again for 5 minutes.

Soak and drain 2 C. spinach leaves twice, then spin dry.

Remove the stems and seeds from 2-3 Italian sweet peppers, then cut them into thin half rounds.

Make a dressing combining 2 T. olive oil, 1 t. sesame oil, 1 T. balsamic vinegar, 1 T. red wine vinegar or lemon juice, 1 t. soy sauce, and 1 small minced clove of garlic.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the quinoa and squash/onions have cooled a bit but are still warm, toss them together with the spinach.  Add the peppers, then add the dressing a little at a time while tossing.

 

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