Autumnal Quinoa Salad

If I’m not all that happy to wave the Summer goodbye, I must admit there are things about Autumn I’m rather excited about.

Besides the fact that my workplace will FINALLY be turning the AC off and I won’t have to wear cashmere to avoid catching a cold in the middle of a heatwave, that is.

Butternut, Feta & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

Top of my list is the comeback of all sorts of winter squash onto the list of seasonal fruit & veggies!

Butternut, Feta & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

I love squashes & pumpkins of all kinds, and couldn’t help but pick up one of the first butternuts of the season at my local farmers’ market last week.

It almost ended up into my favourite soup, but a bit of fridge foraging later and this beautiful Autumnal Quinoa Salad was born…

Easy to make, healthy & super tasty, it’s the perfect dish for a light Autumn dinner or a colourful, vitamin-packed lunch!

Warm Butternut & Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

Autumnal Quinoa Salad with Butternut, Feta & Pine Nuts (serves 2)

Ingredients: 

  • 200g quinoa (I got this pretty mixed-coloured one from Waitrose)
  • 300g butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 50g crumbled feta
  • 20g pine nuts
  • sea salt, cracked black pepper, oregano

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (gas mark 6).

2. In a bowl, mix the slices of butternut with the olive oil, a pinch of salt, some black pepper and a generous pinch of oregano. Spread onto an oven-safe dish and bake for 35-45 minutes (or until the edges start caramelising).

3. Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil, then throw in the quinoa and cook for about 20min, then drain.

4. In a dry pan, fry the pine nut kernels until golden.

5. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl or pile them up onto two plates, top with a little more oregano and serve immediately.

This dish can also be eaten cold, which makes it a brilliant packed lunch option as well!

PIN FOR LATER:

Autumnal Quinoa Salad | Cake + Whisky

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Autumnal Quinoa Salad

Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad

I’m a serial lunch-packer. By which I mean I pack lunch almost every day.

I got into the habit a long time ago, when I was at university and the food on offer on campus was far too unhealthy, expensive and bloating for me to even consider eating it every day. Plus, I had to somehow justify my massive collection of lunch boxes.

Salads have always been amongst my lunch staples. And even more so now that I’ve created the absolute wonder that is this Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad!

Lunch-spiration: Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad | Cake + Whisky

Super easy and quick to make, tasty, zingy, healthy yet filling, it’s the perfect on-the-go lunch.

Actually, I love it so much that I also serve it as a side any time I have a chance (I made it for Worksgiving, and it even was on our Christmas Eve’s menu this year!). An absolute winner on all fronts.

Lunch-spiration: Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad | Cake + Whisky

Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad (serves 1)

Ingredients: 1/4 butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1/3 inch thick slices), 1/2 avocado (scooped out and diced), a few handfuls baby spinach, some spring onion greens (sliced), 1/2 ball of mozzarella, lime juice, tabasco (I like the green one best), 1 tsp olive oil, pinch sea salt flakes, pinch chilli flakes, pinch sumac, spoonful pesto and/or tbsp pumpkin seeds

1. Pre-heat your oven at 180°C

2. Lay the butternut squash onto an oven-safe dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, chilli flakes, sea salt and Tabasco (to taste). Roast for about 45 min or until nice and golden.

3. In a separate container, make your dressing by mixing lime juice and a dash of Tabasco. Shake/stir until combined.

4. Put your spinach on a plate (or in a lunchbox). Add your avocado, roasted squash, mozzarella and spring onions on top. Season to taste with sea salt, sumac and pesto/ seeds.

5. When you’re ready to eat, pour the dressing on top of the salad.

Do you pack your lunch? What’s your go-to recipe? 

 

Tabasco-roasted squash + mozzarella salad

5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas

I’m one of those people who always, ALWAYS carry food everywhere they go. No matter where I’m going, it’s extremely likely you’ll find some sort of snack in my bag. And by “some sort of snack”, I mean enough food to feed a small army. For several days.

Of course, I am also obsessed with lunchboxes but I tend to almost carry the same things (mainly leftovers). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with leftovers BUT if I want to make sure I don’t get food-envy come lunchtime (and end up going down to Pret for some chocolate croissants), I clearly needed some change! So I’ve been working on some healthy-bunny recipes over the looooong weekend and here 5 of my favourite new lunch ideas!

No-carb Burritos with Broccoli & Avocado (V)
Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas
Inspired by a few of Chocolate & Zucchini‘s recipes (see links underneath).

(Serves 1) Prep your charred broccoli/avocado/tahini salad as explained here (I added chilli flakes and pomegranate seeds too). Make a one-egg omelette as explained here. Over-fill your omelette (isn’t that the only way to make a burrito anyway?). Serve with more charred broccoli.

Now that I think of it, I’m sure the salad would be lovely with hard-boiled eggs mixed in too (and probably more convenient to put in a lunch box…).

Warm green beans salad with Jamon and walnuts
Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasInspired by Chocolate & Zucchini‘s excellent eponymous book.

(Serves 1) Cook green beans in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, make a grain mustard + olive oil + cider vinegar + black pepper dressing. Toss in the beans. Sprinkle with Jamon (I brought mine back from Barcelona!), walnuts and grated parmesan. 

Zucchini noodles alla puttanesca (V)Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch IdeasInspired by The Londoner‘s brilliant “Slutty Pasta but adapted to be vegetarian!

(Serves 1) Using a vegetable peeler (or a spiralizer if you have one of those!), make linguine-like ribbons with 1 big-ish zucchini. In a pan, cook 2 cloves of garlic into a spoonful of olive oil until slightly caramelized. Add in 6-8 sliced black olives, a spoonful of chopped capers and a pinch of chilli flakes. Toss in 1/4 of a can of tomatoes, 2 table spoons of soy sauce and let the whole lot reduce for a few minutes. Pour the sauce on your coodles and top with cracked black pepper, a little bit of olive oil and some grated parmesan.

Pan-fried kale, soft boiled eggs and parsley sauce (V)

Cake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas(Serves 1) In a food processor, blend 4 garlic cloves, half a bunch of parsley , salt, pepper and olive oil until you get a fairly homogenous green sauce. Put a pot of water to boil. When it is, add in your eggs and cook for 5 minutes, then cool the eggs under cold water and shell them off. Pan-fry about a bowl of shredded curly kale in a spoonful of olive oil (add a bit of water if it browns too quickly). Sprinkle with salt, dried garlic, black pepper and chilli flakes. Top with the sauce. 

Vietnamese Prawn SoupCake + Whisky | Recipes | Healthy Lunch Ideas 1(Serves 2) In a big saucepan, fry some ginger, a few garlic cloves and the white part of a couple of spring onions. Add in two carrots cut into little straws, half a can of sweet corn and a few handfuls of bean sprouts. Add in some stock (I used some I made, but that would work as well!). Season with salt, chilli flakes, fish sauce and soy sauce, thenadd in your prawns (I used frozen un-cooked ones). Let the whole lot simmer for a few minutes, then pour the soup in a bowl and top with the green part of the spring onions, a small handful of chopped mint leaves and chives. 

What did you have for lunch today? Anything I could be inspired by? I’m always looking for new ideas!!

5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas