Winter Quinoa Salad with Pear and Squash


1 1/2 cups butternut squash cut into 1/2 inch cubes OR oven roasted sweet potato
1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
salt and pepper to taste
1 pear, halved, cored, and diced
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil (or omit)
slivered almonds
feta cheese


Place the squash in a microwavable bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 7-8 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife.  Let cool to room temperature.
In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes and then fluff with a fork.  Let cool to almost room temperature.  Gently fold in squash, pear, and tomatoes.
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and olive oil.  Spoon over the quinoa mixture and toss lightly.  Arrange the salad on a platter or individual plates and serve and top with slivered almonds and feta cheese.  Serve warm or chilled.

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