Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eat Your Veggies: Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Salad

I would like to thank Christina for another great recipe! I tried her Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad recipe the other day. I loved it, and my husband - the carnivore - really liked it as well. (I packed it in his lunch and he called me to tell me how much he enjoyed it!) This is a great way to get a lot of veggies in a really healthy dish, and the feta cheese adds a nice salty bite.

With it's balanced set of essential amino acids, quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") contains more protein than any other grain. It also has additional nutritional value with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You could substitute with couscous if you can't find quinoa, but if you haven't tried quinoa before, I encourage you to do so!

Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Salad

1 red bell pepper
3 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa
¼ cup balsamic blend seasoned rice vinegar (Nakano)
2 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups chopped carrot
Cooking spray
1 3/4 cups chopped yellow squash
3 ½ cups zucchini chopped
1 cup (4 oz) crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
1 garlic clove

Preheat broiler.
Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a sip-top bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and cut bell pepper into strips.

Reduce over temperature to 500ºF.

Bring 3 cups of vegetable stock to a boil in a medium saucepan and stir in quinoa. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Combine vinegar, oil and black pepper in medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add carrot to vinegar mixture; toss to coat. Drain carrot through a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving carrot and vinegar mixture. Place carrot on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 500º for 10 minutes. Add zucchini and yellow squash to reserved vinegar mixture in bowl; toss well to coat. Drain zucchini mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving zucchini and vinegar mixture. Add zucchini mixture to carrot on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until vegetables are browned. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Combine quinoa, roasted vegetables, reserved vinegar mixture, cheese and garlic in a large bowl; stir well to combine. Cover and chill. Yield 8 servings (1 cup servings).

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