Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

More often than not when I shop for groceries, I buy the produce that looks the best, is in season, or that sounds good right now. When I come home from work, there are many times when I go to make dinner without a clear idea of what I will make or even what I have available. Staples like this hearty yet light quinoa salad make it easier on the days I'm feeling less creative.  

I've been making this recipe for so long that I'm not entirely sure of its original origin. It is quick, easy, and doesn't require a lot of forethought to put together. It tastes great warm, with veggies straight out of the oven, but is just as good room temperature, or even chilled for the following day's lunch. 

QuinoaRoastedVegSalad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups red quinoa (tricolor or plain quinoa work too)
  • 2 medium zucchinis, thickly sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping TBS tomato paste
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • Parsley for garnish

Directions:

1   Preheat oven to 375°.

2   Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring veggie broth to a boil. Add quinoa and bring back to boil. Adjust heat to low and cover. Simmer until quinoa is soft and broth is absorbed (15-20 min).

3   In a large bowl, toss the zucchini, carrots, onion, and bell pepper with the coconut oil and some salt and pepper. You may have to slightly warm the coconut oil to make it easier to mix.

4   Dump the vegetables onto a baking sheet and spread them into an even layer. Roast in the oven for 30 min or until the edges begin turning golden brown, stirring halfway.

5   Remove roasted veggies from oven and cool slightly before combining with quinoa.

6   In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste and lemon juice. Pour mixture over quinoa and stir until incorporated.

7   Add vegetables and stir. Garnish with parsley and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold the next day.

Notes:

Don't dice the vegetables too small, or they will fall apart while roasting. Check them toward the end, different ovens may require more or less time. I love vegetables, so I usually go lighter on the quinoa and heavier on the vegetables. Other vegetables that roast well and go with these flavors are cauliflower and parsnips.