The holidays are right around the corner, which is why I have prepared a very delicious and easy to make Autumn Balsamic Quinoa Salad for you today!
No one wants to work hard around the holidays. I should re-phrase that, we all want relaxation and rest, but no one wants EXTRA work added to their plate. Let's be honest, we all know it takes a lot of time and effort to pull off the holiday season for our family.
There's a lot of parties and events to attend and plan! This Autumn Balsamic Quinoa Salad is the perfect side dish to quickly make and bring to those exact events. You could even add cooked chicken or another form of protein to make it a main dish!
Instant Pot = Holiday Lifesaver
We've had a lot of requests to sprinkle in more ideas of how to integrate and use your Instant Pot in daily recipes. I'm a firm believer that the Instant Pot is a tool to help make your life easier, NOT make more dishes for you!
I love using my Instant Pot and my stove simultaneously for a recipe. Multiple things get cooked up at once and it means less time demanded from me to sit and watch my food cook…who has time to do that!? Thankfully the saute portion of this is quick and painless.
Cooking Quinoa in your Instant Pot could literally not be easier. It takes a solid minute. WHAT!? Dump and forget? That's why everyone loves their crockpots right? Yeah, Instant Pot is a level above people.
I know it's crazy to think about surpassing the wonderful invention that the crockpot is, and don't you worry, there's still a conversion lid and mode to create a crockpot out of your instant pot. There's very little the Instant Pot is not capable of!
Back to the Recipe
Anyways, salads are easy already, but the Autumn Balsamic Quinoa Salad is guaranteed to wow some palates at your table. I have a secret ingredient I added to this balsamic dressing that pairs really well with all the flavors of these fall vegetables.
Even people I know that refuse to eat brussel sprouts, somehow enjoy how I manage to mix them into delicious recipes. So give it a try on your pickier eaters!
About the Ingredients
Raw Pumpkin Seeds- First off, who doesn't enjoy the rich shade of green these beauties offer!? These little nuggets are packed full of zinc, fiber, and protein. They also carry antioxidants, iron, magnesium, and many other nutrients just waiting to support your digestive health.
Brussel Sprouts- I know brussel sprouts are a tough subject with a lot of kids and adults alike, but there's many reasons to give them a try.
First reason? Don't make them a big deal. Society mentions over and over again about how people don't enjoy brussel sprouts. Our kids hear this from an early age and develop the mindset without even trying them that they are gross and undesirable. Let's change this negative view!
I'm a firm believer in giving things a try. They are packed with Vitamin C and K, both essential for growth and development within the body. Why would we NOT want our kids to eat these!? They benefit and support many organs in the body, including your heart and are full of antioxidants as well.
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How to make the Autumn Balsamic Quinoa Salad
I hope you're ready to multitask a little, because it is about to make your life so much easier! If you need to break the recipe steps down into one project at a time, that is totally okay!
First, I start by placing my measured quinoa in the instant pot and applying the 1:1:1 ratio I walk through in the instructions below.
Once my instant pot is doing some of my work for me, I move onto the stove. I heat coconut oil in a pan before adding my chopped brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes to the hot pan. I saute the vegetables until soft and starting to brown before turning off the stove, setting to the side to cool, and mixing some salt and cinnamon in the vegetable medley.
Once the vegetables have cooled enough to not wilt my greens, I fill a bowl 3/4 of the way with greens and leave some room to add the vegetables and quinoa mixture on top. I like to pre-mix the vegetables with the cooled quinoa in case I want to leave the toppings on top of the greens without mixing.
I sprinkle some raw pumpkin seeds on top of everything and drizzle the salad dressing on top. It is your choice whether you make the salad dressing while the vegetables and quinoa are cooking or make it fresh right before you drizzle it! This salad has so many wonderful fall flavors packed into it and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!
Autumn Balsamic Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup Quinoa, cooked
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 large Sweet Potato, cubed, sauteed
- 1/2 lb Brussel Sprouts, halved, sauteed
- Pinch Himalayan Salt
- Pinch Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
- 4 cups Kale/Spinach Blend
- Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot. All you need to remember is the 1:1:1 ratio. One cup rinsed quinoa, 1 cup water, and 1 minute on the Manual setting.
- Combine coconut oil and the chopped sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts in a pan and saute until cooked. Should be browned and soft. Sprinkle salt and cinnamon on the pan roasted vegetables and set aside to cool.
- Place greens of choice in a bowl and add chilled vegetable and quinoa mix. Sprinkle raw pumpkin seeds on top before adding dressing. Dressing is simply mixed together in a separate container, add wet ingredients before dry, stir/shake well, before adding to salad.