I don’t know about you, but a while back I jumped on the quinoa bandwagon and haven’t looked back. I love the stuff! So, when I was looking for some fun salads to do (minus the boring lettuce kind) I was drawn to this one immediately.
As with the salad from a couple of Friday’s ago I found this salad in You Are What You Eat, by Gillian McKeith. Her recipe serves four. But since I made this while E. was on a work trip, I cut it down to just 2 servings to eat one and save the other for later. I also realized as I was gathering my ingredients that I had eaten all the zucchini! But I had plenty of other green veggies so I substituted in some broccoli florets, and I realized I only thought I’d bought fresh basil, so out the dried variety came.
Warm Vegetable Quinoa Salad (serves 4)
- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and halved
- 1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and halved
- 1 zucchini, finely diced
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
- ½ cup quinoa grains
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (leaves only)
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (leaves only, chopped)
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil
- 4 lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place the peppers cut side up in a baking dish and scatter the zucchini (or in my case broccoli florets) and red onion around the peppers. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- While that’s roasting rinse/drain your ½ cup of quinoa according the package directions and place in a pot of 1 cup of boiling water and stir in the rosemary and thyme. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until quinoa is done. Drain and set aside.
- Scatter 1 tablespoon pine nuts over the roasted peppers and cook for another 5-10 minutes
- Remove the baking dish and spoon the quinoa into the pepper halves.
- Scatter with basil and remaining pine nuts. You can then squeeze some fresh lemon juice over this or serve with the lemon wedges to allow each person to squeeze on their own desired amount of lemon juice.
I decided since I was going with the yellow bell pepper it would be fun to do red quinoa as a nice color contrast. This was definitely tasty and its so chock full of vibrant colors making you feel happy and good about what you’re eating. The broccoli actually was a great addition, I loved it roasted and the thyme and rosemary gave a bright yet earthy flavor to the quinoa without overpowering it. And the yellow pepper was the perfect mix of crisp yet cooked. I can definitely see making this again- maybe even adding in some grilled chicken or ground turkey next time.
What do you do when you begin to prepare a meal and realize you don’t have all the needed ingredients? Do you scrap it and make something else, run to the grocery store? For me I find it depends on the meal, but generally I find I can get by either by leaving the missing ingredient out or substituting as I did with this recipe.