Love Your Leftovers

Scaling down a recipe is a cinch… In theory. The math isn’t hard, the general procedure is all the same. Maybe the time or temperature needs some adjustment, but we’re not talking about anything drastic here. In reality, at least speaking from personal experience, there’s a strange mental block that makes it feel much more difficult. Why go through all that effort to make a meal for one, when you can just as easily feed an army? That would certainly explain why I’ve ended up with Thanksgiving leftovers that could very well last me until next Thanksgiving, no matter how consciously I planned for a downsized feast.

Now, however, I do have yet another thing to be thankful for. Leftovers are quite simply the best part of any meal, be it takeout or home cooking. Cook once, eat twice or thrice, and the flavors only get better over time. If repetition gets dull, it’s a snap to switch things up, re-purposing tired components into a vibrant, fresh dish.

If you’ve never tried toasting your quinoa, you’re missing out on a wealth of flavor, nutty and woodsy, with notes of warm cereal, and a gorgeous golden color. To this endlessly accommodating base, Thanksgiving leftovers get a new home, no matter what you’ve got kicking around in the fridge. Brussels sprouts, tender persimmons, and roasted pumpkin seeds cozy into these plush grains, revived and enlivened with a hot browned butter vinaigrette- No dairy need apply, of course.

Sometimes, the leftovers are simply too good to mess around with aside from reheating. There’s no shame in eating Thanksgiving on repeat, verbatim. Just make sure you don’t miss out on this winning combination, even if you have to start from scratch.

Yield: Makes 4 - 6 Servings

Toasted Warm Quinoa Salad with Browned Butter Vinaigrette

Toasted Warm Quinoa Salad with Browned Butter Vinaigrette

Breathe new life into Thanksgiving leftovers. Nutty, toasted quinoa bolsters roasted Brussels sprouts and crisp persimmons, lavished with a warm vegan browned butter dressing. Even if you have to start from scratch, it's worth the effort!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pumpkin Seeds:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt, Divided
  • 1 Pound Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed and Halved
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Pumpkin Seeds, Cleaned
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Toasted Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup Dry White Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Stock

Browned Butter Vinaigrette:

  • 4 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Shallot
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

To Assemble:

  • 1 Large Fuyu Persimmon, Quartered and Thinly Sliced


    1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line two sheet pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
    2. Toss the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Once thoroughly coated, spread them out in a single layer on one of the baking sheets. Separately, mix together the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and ground black pepper with the raw pumpkin seeds. Transfer to the second baking sheet, arranging them in a single layer as well. Move both sheets into the oven and bake, stirring after about 15 minutes, until the seeds are golden brown and the sprouts are fork-tender; about 20 - 25 minutes.
    3. To prepare the quinoa, begin by placing it in a dry skillet over medium heat. Saute, stirring frequently, for 3 - 5 minutes until golden brown and highly aromatic. Quickly pour in the stock to prevent it from burning, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, keeping it at a gentle simmer, for about 15 minutes. Once the grains have mostly absorbed the liquid, turn off the heat but keep the pot covered for another 10 minutes, allowing the quinoa to finish steaming.
    4. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the vegan butter over moderate heat until lightly browned and nutty-smelling, swirling the pan gently, for about 5 minutes. Transfer into a blender along with the shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the vinegar and lemon juice, blending until emulsified and thickened.
    5. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl. Toss together with the roasted brussels sprouts, sliced persimmon, and vinaigrette. Once thoroughly combined and coated with dressing, top with toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve warm.


To make the most of your leftovers, simple start with 1 pound of roasted Brussels Sprouts and 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds or toasted pepitas. Start at step #3.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 640mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

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