{This post is sponsored by McCormick! I used their Turmeric to make this warm and cozy fall salad!} 

Hi, hi!! Meet my new favorite fall salad!!

Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I know that summer salads are supposed to be the best of the year, but to me, a fall salad is the way to go! Fall salads just seem heartier and full of precious gems like roasted squash, quinoa, kale and CHEESE. And in this salad’s case, is eaten warm!

Also, I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I am really into creating salads around the seasons…

Example One: Thai Summer Quinoa Salad

Example Two: Spring Pea and Carrot Salad 

Example Three: Winter Beet and Pomegranate Salad with Maple Candied Pecans

I try to be a seasonal eater, and this fall harvest quinoa salad is no exception.

This salad is also packed with pomegranate arils, my favorite fall fruit, so delish and so good for you! I love using pomegranates throughout the months from September through December. They add a nice texture and bring the most beautiful color to a dish.

The other reason I’m beyond excited about today’s salad… say hello to fried Halloumi Cheese (yum!) + Creamy Tahini Turmeric Dressing, YESS.

Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestFall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestFall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestFall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I’m not sure how many of you have noticed, but turmeric is kind of the “in” spice right now. For the longest time, I avoided turmeric because I thought my family wasn’t really into it. But it turns out, I just wasn’t using it in the right way, or in some cases, I was simply using too much. Over the summer I made my first creamy Lassi. The key ingredient in a lassi is turmeric, this was when I discovered just how delicious turmeric can be!

Ever since then, I’ve been trying to make an effort to use more turmeric in my cooking, especially after reading up on it! I was curious to find out why everyone seemed to be calling turmeric the new super spice so I did I little digging. Wow, people are intrigued by turmeric for its potential health benefits! Turmeric has been getting increasing attention for its potential anti-inflammatory properties, which are linked to its key compound, curcumin.

Other things to note (major geek alert ahead!)…

Turmeric is one of the main components of curry powder, giving it its yellow hue.

…throughout history, turmeric was widely known for its use as a natural colorant. Today, it’s frequently used to give off a golden color to rice dishes, sauces, soups, stews, and condiments. Hmmmm, guess that’s why it worked so well for my natural fabric dye project!

Kind of cool though right? I mean, I guess it’s not just any old spice!!

SIDE NOTE: I know that soup is supposed to be the go-to food when feeling under the weather, but I’m thinking that this fall, it’s all about this salad. I mean, it’s packed with so much goodness! Lovin’ it.

Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Anyway, my point is that I’ve been converted, I am now a turmeric person!! Yeah! And you guys, if you think you’re not a fan, just try this dressing. It’s creamy perfection when drizzled over this autumn inspired salad…

Which umm, maybe we should talk about a few of the other things happening here in this salad? Yes, let’s!

One of my favorite things to do on busy nights is cook up a giant batch of quinoa and then just toss in any fruits/veggies/cheese that I have left in my fridge. I call it my kitchen sink quinoa salad. This here is my fall version and it’s loaded with all my favorite fall produce!!

I’m talking roasted delicata squash (acorn or pumpkin would be great too!), honeycrisp apples, baby kale, handful after handful of pomegranate arils, and ripe avocado. I also included toasted pumpkins seeds and roasted pistachios.

Yes and yes!

Oh and of course, you cannot forget about that dried Halloumi cheese. It’s a game changer and it pairs so perfectly with this creamy tahini turmeric dressing.

Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestFall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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3.08 from 14 votes
The Recipe

Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 0 SERVES 4 AS A MAIN 6 AS A SIDE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 delicata or acorn squash halved, seeded + cut into half circles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • pinch of McCormick Ground Cayenne Red Pepper to taste
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups baby kale
  • 1 apple cored + thinly sliced
  • arils from 1 pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or roasted pistachios
  • 8 ounces halloumi cheese sliced (omit if vegan)
  • 1 avocado sliced

Turmeric Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon [McCormick Ground Turmeric | http://www.mccormick.com/spices-and-flavors/herbs-and-spices/spices/turmeric-ground]
  • kosher salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. On a baking sheet, toss together the squash, olive oil, maple, cinnamon, cayenne and a good pinch of salt + pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing twice throughout cooking until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the warm quinoa, roasted squash, kale, apples, pomegranate arils and pumpkin seeds. Gently toss to combine.
  5. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once hot, add the Halloumi slices and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until lightly golden. Remove and drain on to paper towels.
  6. Top the quinoa with the fried Halloumi and avocado and drizzle with the turmeric tahini dressing. Garnish with a handful of pomegranate arils if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Turmeric Tahini Dressing

  1. In a blender combine the tahini, turmeric, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons water and blend until smooth, adding water to thin the dressing until it is pourable. Taste and adjust salt + pepper to your liking.
Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Gimme another bowl please…with an extra side of cheese… obviously. 🙂

{This post is sponsored by McCormick. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!! :) }

Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest