Now that spring has sprung and shorts are being donned, many of my blogger friends have been posting low cal, healthy recipes. I seemed to have ignored that memo. But I did have a bag of quiona in my pantry…and I felt it my duty as a seasoned food blogger to share a delicious salad chock full of nutrients. Have I scared you off? I hope not because this quinoa salad with roasted vegetables was splendid.
There’s a bit of chopping and roasting involved…eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, garlic and red bell pepper are all diced and cooked at high heat to concentrate their flavors. Mixed into cooked quiona with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and a simple balsamic vinaigrette produced a heavenly mixture of flavors and textures. It can easily be made vegan or vegetarian by cooking the quinoa in salted water or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I ate this quinoa salad for lunch 5 days in a row…and I was seriously disappointed when it was all gone. If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, this is a sensational recipe to test it out!
Note: Though quinoa is a rare plant source that’s a complete protein (meaning it contains all the essential amino acids), it is not a high protein food like meat and eggs.
Terrific Healthy Recipes
- 1½ cup dried quinoa (cook according to package instructions using chicken broth instead of water)
- Chicken broth
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small eggplant cut into small cubes (about ½ inch cubes)
- Salt, to sprinkle over eggplant
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 zucchini, cut into small cubes
- 1 yellow squash, cut into small cubes
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into small cubes
- 1 red onion, diced fine
- ⅓ cup good quality balsamic vinegar (I used The Olive Tap Aceto Balsamico di Modena)
- 10 marinated sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
- ½ cup fresh basil chiffonade (leaves rolled tightly and sliced into thin strips)
- Preheat oven to 450º. Cook quinoa as directed above. Add one tablespoon of the olive oil and toss. Let cool.
- Put the eggplant in a colander and sprinkled with salt. Let rest about 20 minutes.
- Toss the zucchini and yellow squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ⅓ of the minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for about 8-10 minutes or till just tender.Add to bowl of quinoa.
- Toss the pepper and onion with 1 tablespoon of oil, ⅓ of the garlic, and salt and pepper like with the squash. Roast for about 10-15 minutes, then add to the quinoa.
- Repeat with the eggplant but without adding more salt. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, then add to quinoa.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Gently toss and check for seasonings.
Sharp knives are imperative when a recipe calls for a plethora of chopped vegetables. And Kitchen IQ is an excellent source for high performance knife sharpeners and kitchen tools for the discriminating cook. I used their Ceramic Edge Electric Knife Sharpener to hone my knives before slicing and dicing all these veggies…it worked perfectly on both my American and Asian straight edged knives. The V-etched Better Zester was marvelous for zesting citrus for dishes like my Margarita Shrimp. It has a non-stick surface, creates the finest zest, plus has a nifty storage component. Kitchen IQ is hosting our Healthy Spring virtual party today as well as sponsoring a wonderful giveaway. Please follow the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. You can follow Kitchen IQ on Twitter and Facebook.
The Marvelous Loot
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Disclosure: Kitchen IQ provided me with a knife sharpener and zester, but I was not compensated for writing this post and the opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions of Kitchen IQ.