Now that summer has ended and the nights are getting a bit chillier, I find myself craving big salads with roasted veggies and healthy fats like avocado or nuts. Today’s Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Mint and Pea Pesto will definitely satisfy your hunger and your craving for comfort food. It is super filling, high in fiber, packed with vitamins & minerals and absolutely delicious. Plus: it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare!

Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Mint and Pea Pesto

SERVES: 4 people

EQUIPMENT: food processor, rubber spatula, vegetable peeler, oven

INGREDIENTS:

Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

1 small pumpkin 
Extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil, to taste
Himalayan crystal salt or sea salt, to taste
Fresh herbs, to taste (I love oregano & sage)

1 small cup of quinoa
4 large handfuls of greens: Romaine lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, spring mix…
1 pomegranate, seeds (optional)

Mint and Pea Pesto

1 ½ cup of peas, fresh or frozen and thawed
¼ cup of fresh mint, leaves
¼ cup of pine nuts 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of lime juice
½ tablespoon of water
½ tablespoon of Shiro miso
½ teaspoon of Himalayan crystal salt or sea salt
Black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Roasted Pumpkin & Quinoa

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit). 
  2. Peel the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler.
  3. Cut it in half, remove the seeds with a spoon and cut it into smaller slices.
  4. Put the pumpkin slices on a baking tray. Drizzle with some extra virgin coconut oil. Sprinkle some sea salt on top. Add a few leaves of fresh oregano and sage for extra flavor.
  5. Put the pumpkin in the oven until it’s tender and sweet. Depending on how thick you cut your slices, this will take about 10-20 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, you can cook your quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it with cool water.
  7. Combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water in a cooking pot and bring to a rolling boil.
  8. Lower the heat and cook covered for 5 to 10 minutes until the quinoa starts to ‘bloom’.
  9. Turn off the heat, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool down for 5 minutes.
  10. ‘Fluff’ the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a bowl.

Mint and Pea Pesto 

  1. Put your peas, mint and pine nuts in a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Mix until finely ground.
  2. Add the extra virgin olive oil, nutritional yeast, lime juice, water, Shiro miso, salt and black pepper to taste. 
  3. Mix again until well combined.

Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad 

  1. Combine the cooked quinoa with the mint and pea pesto. Stir until well combined.
  2. Serve the quinoa al pesto with leafy greens (I used a combination of Romaine lettuce and kale), roasted pumpkin and pomegranate seeds to taste.

JULIE’S TIPS & TRICKS

  • This Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad will stay fresh for at least 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • You can easily prepare several portions at night and take them with you to work the next days.
  • The Mint & Pea Pesto will stay fresh for at least 5 days in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
  • Nutritional yeast adds a nice cheesy flavor to the pesto, and it’s also really high in plant-based protein and B-vitamins. You can find it in most health food stores. 
  • Shiro miso adds a nice salty/savory flavor to the pesto, and it is packed with healthy probiotics that will improve your digestion. You can find it in most health food stores.

Now I would love to hear from you! What’s your favorite way to serve pumpkin? Do you like to use it in salads, veggie curries, mashed potatoes, bread, cookies, smoothies…? Let me know by leaving a comment down below.