Ever tried black quinoa? It is delicious, and very nutty-flavored. A bit fibrous. Great for salads. Cooks up quickly like its white counterpart. This quinoa salad embodies the flavors of autumn. Roasted sugar pie pumpkin with a hint of cinnamon combined with dried cranberries, roasted pecans, shallots, and a zesty dressing. Perfect for a simple, nutritious lunch or as part of your Thanksgiving feast.
Black quinoa is colored by a class of compounds called anthocyanins which protect the plant against oxidation and UV damage. Anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that when ingested, protect our bodies against chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Our modern lifestyle has caused many people to become chronically inflamed. Stress, nutritional deficiencies, elevated toxins in our environment, and lack of sufficient antioxidants causes our bodies to produce higher levels of cytokines which cause inflammation and tissue damage. Cancer cells grow and reproduce under inflammatory conditions. Anthocyanins decrease inflammation and cause cancer cells to die (apoptosis).
Not only is black quinoa a rich source of anthocyanins but also are blueberries, black rice, black beans, blackberries, black raspberries, purple broccoli, purple cauliflower, red cabbage, cherries, and many more. Just think black, purple, dark blue, and dark red.
Black Quinoa and Roasted Pumpkin Salad
If black quinoa can't be found try red or white instead. If you don't have any sugar pie pumpkins on hand you can use any winter squash, though butternut is the easiest to peel. When choosing a pie pumpkin look for one with a smooth skin, which will make the peeling go fast. We grew over 20 sugar pie pumpkins in our little front yard garden patch this year...from only two plants! They are sitting in our garage in boxes right now. I've been using them for pies, soup, muffins, and now quinoa salads! Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups black quinoa
2 3/4 cup water
pinch sea salt
one 2-pound sugar pie pumpkin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Herbamare
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 heaping cup pecans
2 cups diced shallots (or red onions)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare
crumbled organic feta cheese
Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and place into a 2-quart pot with the water and sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool completely in the pan. If you are making this for Thanksgiving, you can make the quinoa 1 to 2 days beforehand and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel pumpkin then slice in half, scoop out seeds (I like to use a grapefruit spoon for this). Then chop into equal sized pieces. Place into a baking dish and toss with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, Herbamare and cinnamon. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan before removing.
Place the pecans into a separate baking dish and place them into the oven. Roast for 10 minutes then cool on a plate. Chop once cool.
Saute the shallots in a little olive oil in a large pan for about 5 to 7 minutes or until soft and beginning to change color.
Place the cooled quinoa into a large bowl, add the roasted pumpkin, roasted and chopped pecans, sautéed shallots, dried cranberries, and chopped parsley.
In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Pour over quinoa salad. Gently toss together and serve. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com
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