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TriathlEats: Warm Butternut Squash And Quinoa Salad

This simple but flavorful salad complements any fall menu.

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Warm Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad
Photo: Jessica Attie

This simple but flavorful salad complements any fall menu.

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 large leaves curly kale, stem removed, chopped
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
1 T feta cheese, crumbled
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Cook the quinoa in chicken stock for approximately 20 minutes, stirring often. You’ll know it’s cooked when the grains start to open up. Remove from heat and let cool. In a sauté pan, cook the butternut squash in olive oil, then add the kale a few minutes later. Cook until the squash is tender and kale is wilted. In a different pan, add the walnuts and toast for a few minutes. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Mix in dried cranberries, then sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top, and serve warm.

Notes from the Chef

Packed with protein and fiber, this is a perfect salad after a long ride, says chef Sonia Cuevas. Also consider adding it to your Thanksgiving menu as a healthy side dish to balance out all the high-calorie foods on the dinner table.

RELATED: 4 Ways To Use Butternut Squash

Chef Sonia Cuevas
Photo: Jessica Attie

Meet the Triathlete-Chef

Chef Sonia Cuevas, 30, relocated from her native Colombia to Fort Worth, Texas, in 2013 with a bike and a job offer. A long-time triathlete—she’s been racing since childhood—Cuevas kept up her training in between long work days, and along the way met her now-wife. A year later, the two moved to Austin, where Cuevas is now a cook at Lake Austin Spa Resort, a luxury destination spa. “[I didn’t know] this beautiful city could make me a better triathlete with its hills and the company of active Austinites,” Cuevas says. “To top it off, Austin reminds me of back home in Bogotá.” At the resort, her menu includes a variety of fresh-caught fish, pasta and vegetarian items. “I cook for people the way I would cook for myself,” she says. As for the longstanding allure of triathlon? “I love that it isn’t easy—that every discipline comes with a challenge,” she says. Cuevas is always setting new goals for herself, including qualifying for the ITU Olympic-distance Age Group World Championship in 2016 and racing her first half-Ironman in Austin.

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