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Vegan Maple Tahini Orange Roasted Acorn Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad - This healthy salad is mixed with maple roasted acorn squash, cranberries and oranges for a fall meal that is gluten free and vegan friendly. Perfect for Thanksgiving of Friendsgiving! | Foodfaithfitness.com | @FoodFaithFit

Vegan Roasted Acorn Squash and Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Orange Maple Tahini Dressing

This healthy quinoa salad is mixed with maple roasted acorn squash, cranberries and oranges for a fall meal that is gluten free and vegan friendly.

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free dinners, quinoa salad, roasted squash, vegan dinners
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author Taylor

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp Orange juice divided
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Uncooked Better Body Foods Tri-Colored quinoa
  • 1 inch Small acorn squash seeds removed and sliced into 1/2 thick strips(about 1 3/4 lbs)
  • 2 tsps Olive oil divided
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon divided
  • 1 tsp Salt + additional for sprinkling
  • Pepper
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cranberries or thawed frozen ones
  • 8 Cups Spinach packed
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro roughly chopped
  • 3 Mandarin oranges zest included
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini + additional for drizzling optional
  • 3/4 tsp Fresh ginger grated

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a cookie sheet and a small baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot, combine 1/2 cup of the orange juice, reserving the additional tsp for later use, and the water. Bring to a boil and stir in the uncooked quinoa. Cover the pot and reduce to low. Cook until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, about 20-23 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and let slightly cool.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, cut each strip of acorn squash in half again and place into a very large bowl. Drizzle 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp Maple syrup and 1 tsp of Cinnamon on the squash. Make sure to reserve the rest of these ingredients for later use. Stir the squash around to evenly coat it in the mixture. Spread the squash in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the cranberries into the same bowl as the squash was in (don't wash it!) and drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tsp of olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp Maple syrup (reserving the rest for later) and the remaining 1 Tbsp of orange juice. Toss to coat and then pour the mixture in a single layer, into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Place the squash and cranberries into the oven and cook until the cranberries release their juices and wrinkle, and the squash is fork tender, about 15-17 minutes. Note that the squash may take a few more minutes than the berries. Once cooked, set aside to lightly cool.
  6. In a VERY large bowl, toss the spinach and cilantro together.
  7. Zest all three mandarin oranges, and then place the zest into the cooled quinoa. Peel the oranges and then segment them into the bowl with the spinach.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the Tahini, ginger and remaining 1 Tbsp of maple syrup. The mixture will be very thick. Pour it over the spinach mixture and toss to evenly coat. I find it's MUCH easier to get in and use your hands, as you can separate any leaves that get more tahini on them, and stick together. *
  9. Add the remaining 1 tsp of salt, a pinch of pepper and the remaining 1/2 tsp Cinnamon into the bowl with the orange zest and quinoa. Stir to mix evenly.
  10. Dump the quinoa, roasted squash and roasted cranberries into the spinach mixture and toss to until evenly mixed and the spinach begins to wilt.
  11. Drizzle with tahini if you desire and DEVOUR!

Recipe Notes

* Don't toss the tahini on after you mix all the ingredients together, then this salad is goopy. Follow the steps peeps!