Salad of Quinoa, Butternut Squash, Feta and Beans

Do you feel fed if you haven’t had meat? I know lots of people, especially men who just don’t feel like they have been fed if they haven’t had meat on their plate.  Not me though -  I actually did not eat much meat for years, until I started weight training and developed a taste (maybe a need?) for it. There are days still though that I just dont feel like eating meat. I know it’s good for the body to have a meat break and personally I never feel deprived without it, as there are so many delicious ways to combine grains, veggies and leaves. This dish came about by chance after seeing an article on ways to use Quinoa. I’m a big fan of this grain and played around with some of the stuff I had at home and I have to say the flavours of this dish are really exceptional. It’s also great if you are really eating clean, yet filling and full of flavour. The salad dressing uses Pomegranate molasses which is a fantastic addition to your storecupboard and adds a lovely sherberty zing to this. The result was a really tasty meal, deceptively simple for the great flavours it produced. While I used butternut, you can use any squash or small pumkin.

Ingredients – Serves 4
Turn oven on to 200
1 butternut squash – slice and deseed
2 pinches of sumac
1 cup quinoa soaked for 15 minutes in 2 cups of water then brought to the boil and simmered until absorbed and cooked
200gr feta chopped
1 can mixed beans or chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 red onion sliced
3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Dressing
60ml EVOO
30ml white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Pomegranate molassees
1 tsp castor sugar
salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients and mix well

Toss the sliced butternut squash in 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
Sprinkle the pinches of sumac over the squash and cook in the oven until tender
After 15 minutes add the red onion till the end of cooking time
Add the dressing and flat leaf parsley to the cooked quinoa and season well
Add the feta and beans and assemble the salad as shown.