A month ago, Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) asked for my help coming up with toppings for these gorgeous beet, quinoa, and black bean burgers. How could I refuse?! Before I tell you what we decided on, let me tell you about the burgers themselves.
The are firm, full of flavor, have great texture, and are a little bit smoky. Everyone always says this, but they do taste very meaty. I swear.
Veggie burgers rely on many ingredients to make a good product. They can be notoriously mushy and fall apart. This recipe seems to hit all the right notes to make a great burger. Mushrooms, onions, and beets give moisture and flavor; quinoa gives texture; and black beans and ground nuts hold it all together.
I don't know if you've noticed yet, but warm quinoa salads are kind of the go-to for my friend, Melissa, and I (like this one, and this one, and this one). So when we didn't really have a lunch plan a couple of weeks ago, we decided to throw some her CSA veg into, you guessed it, a warm quinoa salad. I would apologize for the repetition, but these salads are healthy and filling and delicious, so I'm not sorry!
This time around, Melissa was drowning in fall squash. So we diced up a butternut and threw it in the oven with a sliced onion.
Meanwhile, we cooked up our pretty tri-color quinoa and tossed in some toasted pine nuts. You could easily sub walnuts or pecans instead.
In went the roasted veg and some arugula, along with some fresh thyme. Again, you could easily sub another type of green (I do love peppery arugula, though) and whatever herbs you have on hand.
Lastly, and certainly not least, we added in some goat cheese. We both seriously love goat cheese. We mixed half of the cheese into the salad to get it melty, and crumbled the rest on top so there would be nice pockets of it.
Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese
original recipe, click here for Melissa's post
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small onion, sliced in half-moons
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 cups baby arugula
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the squash and onion in olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper.
Spread the veggies in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet covered in foil. Roast for 25–30 minutes, turning the veggies over halfway through. When the squash is tender, remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until the water is absorbed and the curlicues pop out. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir the pine nuts, roasted veggies, thyme, arugula, and half the goat cheese into the quinoa; crumble the rest of the cheese over top. Serve warm.
It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Melissa! This time we made a warm and creamy grain salad with veggies (kind of our favorite thing). This salad has farro, arugula, scallions, split peas, English peas, goat cheese, and chives in a citrusy dressing with orange, shallot, and Parmesan. So basically every delicious ingredient there is.
We made things easy by precooking the farro and split peas (you can do this a day in advance) and using frozen peas.
We tossed the farro mixture with a citrusy dressing, then folded in arugula and charred scallions, and topped with goat cheese and chives. Let me tell you about charred scallions - they are awesome. Super awesome. We were worried that the onion flavor would be overwhelming, but charring them takes a lot of that sharpness out and replaces it with sweetness.