Quinoa, Roasted Red Onion, Seasonal Pumpkins, Maple Glazed Pecans and Baby Spinach Salad

Quinoa, Roasted Red Onion, Seasonal Pumpkins, Maple Glazed Pecans and Baby Spinach Salad

Quinoa, Roasted Red Onion, Seasonal Pumpkins, Maple Glazed Pecans and Baby Spinach Salad

Why do we only seem to associate pumpkins, gourds and winter squashes with Halloween? These colourful autumnal vegetables come in many varieties, shapes, sizes and even with multi-coloured stripes. They are easy to digest, so a fantastic food for the elderly, children or anyone recovering from illness.Pumpkins, gourds and winter squashes are highly nutritious and a great seasonal autumn food that can be enjoyed for many months. Like potatoes can be stored for months in a cool dry pantry or space. They contain high amounts of complex carbohydrates, fibre, carotenoids, and potassium, among a wide range of other vitamins and minerals.


Course Dinner, Lunch, Salads, Side Dish
Diet Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 8
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 200 g cooked quinoa
  • 20 g parsley finely chopped
  • 2 large red onions cut into wedges (300g)
  • 2-4 small pumpkins or butternut squash cut into chunks (you can leave skin on)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 60 g pecans slightly broken
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Himalayian salt and crushed peppercorns to season
  • Small handful baby spinach leaves or other dark green salad leaves


  • To roast pumpkin and red onion: Pre-heat oven to 200 C. Place pumpkin, red onion and cumin seeds in a large mixing bowl. Lightly coat with olive oil, gently massaging until both are lightly coated. Place the onions on one tray and the pumpkin on a seperate tray. Take care not to overcrowd or they will steam rather than roast. Place in oven for 20 to 30 minutes until tender and lightly caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to cool, gently toss 1-2 times during roasting process.
  • To glaze pecans: Place heavy pan over medium heat. Spread nuts evenly and let them sit for 30 seconds, then stir for about 2-3 minutes or until they become fragrant, taking care not to burn any. Add maple syrup and toss gently to coat all the nuts – the maple syrup will evaporate, then transfer them to parchment paper to cool down, spreading them loose to prevent sticking.
  • Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl, gently stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and parsley. Gently mix in the roasted red onion, pumpkin, pecans and spinach.
  • Arrange on a nice serving platter or serve in individual bowls. Lovely served on its own or as part of a buffet.

Maggie's Tips

To vary above recipe use whatever vegetable that are in season, vary nuts, use various cheeses, vary herbs.
• Add cooked seafood such as prawns, poached salmon, mussels etc or shredded cooked chicken fillet. Can be served hot or cold.
• Will keep up 3-5 days in your fridge.
• Nut free option: Just omit
• Diary free option: Just omit
• Vegan friendly option: Just omit
• Fantastic lunchbox filler, specially when on the go. Enjoy after a tough workout to ease those painful muscles!

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