This beautiful salad features one of fall’s best super foods, the pumpkin.  I was inspired by the cute little pie pumpkins  I have been seeing at all the supermarkets and stands.    My original plan was to include roasted and salted pepitas in the salad, but when I cut open the pumpkin I changed my mind.  I decided to roast the seeds from the pumpkin I was cutting and put them in the salad instead.  In hindsight I think the store bought pepitas are a better choice only because the have a better crunch.  However I will still roast the seeds for snacking the next time I make this, since I ate almost half of them anyway while I was preparing the salad.

Start with one small pie or sugar pumpkin.
Cut out the stem and cut the pumpkin in half.
Scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff.
Set the seeds aside for roasting.
Cut off the peel from the pumpkin.
Cube the pumpkin.
Toss the pumpkin with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt,
1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika and 1/4 tsp cayenne.
Roast in the oven at 400 for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
Separate the seeds and rinse well.
Dry them with paper towels.
Toss the seeds with 1 tsp melted butter, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper
Put them in the oven with the pumpkin for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
While the pumpkin and seeds are roasting, place 1/2 cup red quinoa
and 1 cup water in a saucepan with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
Set aside and allow to cool.
Snack on the toasted pumpkin seeds. 
When pumpkin is done roasting, set it aside and let it cool.
It can be added to the salad warm, not hot, or at room temperature.
Start with 6 cups of chopped organic spinach.
Add the cooked quinoa.
Add the roasted pumpkin.
Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries.
Add 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese, optional.
Here I added the roasted pumpkin seeds but I recommend using
1/2 cup of roasted and salted store bought pepitas instead.  Your call.
For dressing mix 3 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp dijon, 1 tsp honey
and 1/4 tsp sea salt in a jar and shake well.  Add to salad and toss well.
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