Warm Kale And Quinoa Salad With Roasted Butternut Squash


The one thing I get asked all the time is; Don't you get bored of eating healthy food all the time? I mean vegetables and salads must get so boring!
They can do, if you don't know how to make things taste good!
One of my favourite salads at the moment is this warm kale and quinoa salad, topped with roasted butternut squash and chickpeas. Containing a good dose of healthy fats from the seeds, nuts and tahini sauce, packed with protein from the chickpeas and quinoa, and full with vitamins and minerals!
So if you want to find out how to make this delicious nutrient dense salad then keep on reading!


Serves 2 
(fairly large portions)

- 1 bag(200g) of curly kale*
- 2 cups of cubed butternut squash
- a mix of seeds**
- dried cranberries
- 1/2 tin of chickpeas***
- 1 cup of quinoa 
- 3 cups of vegetable stock 
  -Tahini Sauce:
  - 3 tbsp of tahini 
  - 1 tbsp of agave syrup
  - 2 tsps of garlic salt
  - 2 tsps of dried parsley
  - 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  - water

* I used a pre cut curly kale as it's all the super market had, Beware that if you do this there could well be the stalks chopped up into it, you want to try avoid this as the stalks are tough and aren't the nicest in a salad. 
** I used a mix of, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds. 
*** 1/2 a tin of chickpeas yields about 200g of chickpeas, you can add more or completely omit this depending on personal choice.


1. First off we want to preheat the oven to 180degrees Celsius and add the cubed butternut squash to a lined baking tray and place it in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until tender giving them a toss around about half way through.

2. Whilst the butternut squash is cooking we're going to prepare the sauce. Adding all of the ingredients apart from the water to a jug or a bowl and mixing until well combined. Then adding a tablespoon of water at a time stirring as you go until you reach the desired consistency. You want it to be the consistency of a shop bought Cesar dressing. 

3. In a saucepan add the quinoa and the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until quinoa has absorbed the stock.

4. Next, in a colander or the plastic basket of the inside of a salad spinner, you want to run some warm tap water over the kale and massage it with your hands. This will help the kale be tender as it wont be fully cooked.

5. Adding the kale to a large mixing bowl we're going to add half of our tahini sauce and massage it in coating all of the kale evenly in the dressing.

6. Once the quinoa is cooked you'll want to add it to the large mixing bowl where you prepped your kale, along with the seeds and dried cranberries.Tossing until mixed well.

7. In the saucepan we used to cook the quinoa we're going to throw in the chickpeas and heat them through.

8. Place the mix of kale, seeds, cranberries and tahini dressing onto two separate plates, top with the roasted butternut squash and chickpeas, and drizzle on the remaining sauce.

and there you have it, a healthy but delicious warm salad. Perfect for these cold winter nights!

If you give it a go, let me know what you thought of it!
- Darcy Victoria

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