Warm Winter Quinoa Salad

I love any type of quinoa salad at any season! I make another version with lots of greens like tabule and that is also an all time favorite. I add strawberries in spring and pomegranate in winter to that. Here is the recipe.

This winter version is of course with butternut squash (or you can use pumpkin), sweet potato, leeks and herbs. You can serve warm or cold, a delicious nutritious meal by itself or as a side dish to your protein choice like chicken, fish or meats. If you add some chickpeas, it would strengthen its protein content, from plants side!


- 1/2 leek, chopped into slices (about 1/2 cup of chopped slices)

- Half of a small butternut squash or a slice of pumpkin (about 1 cup of cut pieces)

- Sweet Potato, cut into cubes/slices, 1 cup

- Quinoa, 2 cups, boiled in water

- 6 tbs of olive oil

- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

- 1tsp pepper paste or tomato paste

- 1 cup of fresh parsley and mint, finely choped

- 1 tsp curry powder or any other spice you like (cumin, turmeric, herbal salts, etc)

- 1 tsp garlic powder

- 1/2 tsp dried mint

- Salt and pepper to taste

- 2 tbs pine nuts or almond flakes

- 1tbs pommegranade sour sauce or balsamic vinegar

- 1tbs of pommegrande pieces to decorate (optional)


- Place sweet potato, butternut squash and leek into an oven proof dish or oven tray lined with baking paper, and drizlle 3tbs of the olive oil and spices like curry power, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix them all and make sure all veggies are covered with spices.

I call this a Veggy SPA! So give them a nice massage with olive oil and spices!

Bake them at 180 degrees celcius for about 30 minutes, check to see if vegetables are soft enough (if your fork can gently get through).

- Meanwhile using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool water until the water runs clear. Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook covered for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Usually, 1 cup of quinoa requires 2 cups of water.

- Chop your greens, parsley and fresh mints

- Place your pine nuts into a small pan and toast them until lighly browned.

- Add 3tbs of olive oil into a pan and sautee the onions at medium heat until they are soft and add the pepper paste and dried mint and stir a few more minutes.

- Add the cooked quinoas to onions and mix well.

- Turn off the heat and add the herbs, pommegrande sour sauce or balsamic vinegar and vegetables. Mix them all gently, without smashing the potatoes and squash!

Serve warm right after or you can also keep in fridge for the next days!

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“A Health Coach is a mentor who works with clients to achieve their wellness goals. By addressing all the facets of health in addition to eating – relationships, exercise, career, and spirituality – Health Coaches help people become healthier and happier in all areas of their lives.”

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Ceylan is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach!

Geneva, Switzerland

©2016 by Ceylan Ayik

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