Spiced Roasted Pumpkin, Quinoa & 4-Bean Salad with a Creamy Pesto Dressing (Meal Prep, Gluten Free, Vegetarian)

Salads don’t have to be boring! In fact, my salads are typically vibrant, delicious, filling and satisfying. I love having salads because they are easy to make and you can pretty much throw together whatever you have in your fridge and pantry and get a pretty delicious and satisfying meal. What really makes or breaks a salad for me is the dressing! And that’s why I am always trying new dressing recipes. I typically use a handful of readily available ingredients and condiments to make my salad dressing. These ingredients include tahini, lemon juice, dijon mustard, maple syrup, honey, sriracha, cottage, and yogurt, just to name a few.

This pumpkin salad has a two-ingredient creamy pesto dressing which is made with pesto (homemade or store-bought) and cottage cheese (yes, cottage cheese!). It is the cottage chesse which gives the creamy dressing. And when you pair this creamy pesto dressing with some spiced roasted pumpkin, quinoa, four beans and baby spinach, you not only get a deliciously satifying salad, but a salad that is packed with complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre as well as getting your five serves of veggies for the day. I also top this salad with some sunflower seeds and hemp seeds for some health fat to keep me fuller longer. If you are looking for a delicious, yet filling and satisfying salad, give this recipe a go πŸ˜‰ Also, share this recipe with a friend who loves a delicious salad πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have. As always, please let me know what you think of this recipe. If you like what you see on this blog, you can follow me on my blog, Facebook or Instagram for some food porn. Also, if you do recreate this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @subz_foodie πŸ™‚

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1/2 large pumpkin (~1kg), chopped into cubes (I kept the skin because I couldn’t be bothered peeling the skin πŸ˜› and it’s extra fibre πŸ˜‰ );
  • Olive oil;
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika;
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs;
  • San elk veggie stock or salt to taste;
  • Pepper to taste;
  • 1 1/3 cup cooked quinoa;
  • 1 x 400g canned 4 beans (or chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, etc) (or 1.5 cups cooked beans of your choice); and
  • 5-6 handful baby spinach (200g baby spinach).

For the creamy pesto dressing:

  • 4 tbsp pesto (homemade or store-bought); and
  • 200g cottage cheese.

**Optional for the topping: seeds of your choice, i.e. sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius and line a large baking tray with grease proof paper;
  2. In a large bowl, place the cubed pumpkins, drizzle of olive oil, paprika, mixed herbs, veggie stock/salt and pepper to taste and mix until well combined. Transfer the pumpkin to the baking tray and bake for 35-45 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked. You can also cook the pumpkin in an Airfryer (which I have also done before);
  3. Whilst wating for the pumpkin to cook, make the pesto dressing. In a food processor, place the pesto and cottage cheese and process until smooth and creamy. You may want to add some water if you prefer your dressing runnier;
  4. Salad assembly: Prepare four large serving bowls. First place the baby spinach on each bowl. Then, place 1/3 cooked quinoa in each bowl and 1/4 of canned beans in each bowl. When the pumpkin is cooked, divide the pumpkin into four servings and place in each bowl;
  5. Then, top each bowl with a 1/4 of the pesto dressing. You can add some seeds (sunflower seeds, hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds) to each bowl;
  6. Now, it is time to enjoy your salad. Enjoy πŸ˜‰

Happy making,

Suba Xx

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