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Quinoa & Roasted Vegetables Salad

Imagine this – fluffy, curling quinoa.

Like a bed of quinoa bubbles bobbing up and down, calling you, beckoning you to come eat it.

OK, I’ll be honest with you.

I’d been wanting to experiment with quinoa for the longest time, but I’d never actually set about doing it.

Firstly, because fear of the unknown inhibits us from doing so many things. I had never cooked quinoa before, and didn’t know how to do it, despite having seen instructions on cooking it online so many times.

cornbread in a cast iron skillet

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Secondly, it was because of the inertia of getting out of my taste buds’ comfort zone, and because I didn’t have any idea what quinoa tasted like, I wasn’t exactly sure if it was worth making.

But after weeks and weeks of images of fluffy quinoa swirling around my head, I eventually convinced myself to find a quinoa recipe – both for how to cook quinoa and what to eat it with.

It turns out that cooking quinoa really wasn’t as mysterious or difficult as my mind had concocted it to be! In fact, it is as simple as A,B,C, as long as you follow the right steps, one at a time! (See below for a step-by-step picture tutorial on how to cook quinoa).

Oh, and the best part of quinoa? It’s packed rich with essential amino acids such lysine, as well as good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

Cooked well, quinoa has a mildly-nutty flavor, which makes it very attractive as an alternative to rice.

I definitely like the way cooked quinoa looks – with the little curls reminding me of a sprouting seed.

Freshly-Cooked Quinoa
Freshly-cooked quinoa, fluffed & cooled

It reminds me of growing life, fresh beginnings, novel experiences, and new recipes.

Recipes of fresh vegetables, chopped and diced, and lightly roasted in a pan.

Of bell peppers, red and green, eggplant and onions, tossed together and cooked until their flavors and juices combine to create an exotic Middle Eastern taste.

And then mixed with freshly cooked quinoa, in an amazingly unconventional salad.

Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables1
Quinoa & Roasted Vegetables

Quinoa & roasted vegetables salad – an explosion of colors, tastes and aromas.

Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables4
Quinoa & Roasted Vegetables Salad


QUINOA & ROASTED VEGETABLES (Serves 4)

Adapted from BBC Good Food’s Quinoa & Feta Salad with Roasted Vegetables recipe
Quinoa cooking recipe from Bite by Michelle’s Quinoa Salad recipe

Ingredients:

1) 1/2 cup of dried quinoa (rinsed well until water is no longer cloudy)
2) 1 cup of water
3) 1 red bell pepper
4) 1 green bell pepper
5) 1 small eggplant
6) 1 onion
7) Salt & pepper to taste

Steps:

1) Wash & dice bell peppers, eggplant and onion
2) Place rinsed dried quinoa and water in a small pot, and bring to a boil
3) Once water starts boiling, cover pot and reduce heat to a minimum for 15 minutes
4) Remove pot from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes (with cover still on)
5) Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool
6) In a frying pan, roast diced onions and eggplant for a few minutes, stirring well
7) Add in green peppers and stir for 2 minutes
8) Add in red peppers and stir for another 2 -3 minutes (I added red peppers last so the red color would remain vibrant)
9) Add salt & pepper to taste
10) Mix cooked quinoa and roasted vegetables together
11) Serve at room temperature


Place rinsed, dried quinoa and water in a small pot and bring to a boil:
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Once water starts boiling, cover pot and reduce heat to a minimum for 15 minutes:
DSC07595

Remove pot from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes, covered, before removing cover:
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Fluff quinoa with a fork & let it cool:
DSC07616

Beautiful Quinoa:
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Wash & dice bell peppers, eggplant and onion:
DSC07599

In a frying pan, roast diced onions and eggplant for a few minutes, stirring well:
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Add in green peppers and stir for 2 minutes:
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Add in red peppers and stir for another 2 -3 minutes:
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Once vegetables are cooked, salt & pepper to taste:
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Freshly-cooked quinoa & roasted vegetables:
Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables1

Mix cooked quinoa and roasted vegetables together:
Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables2

Quinoa & Roasted Vegetables:
Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables4

23 Comments

  1. Hi…I am new to your website…the roasted vegetable and quinoa dish looks good, but I don’t see any ingredient listings for pan roasting the vegetables in any kind of oil, but the finished dish looks like it has shine to it, from some sort of oil. Did you use oil in this recipe? Thanks in advance for a reply…

    1. Hi Jerilyn, thanks for your comment and for reading! Yes, I used a bit of vegetable oil to stir-fry the chopped vegetables in a pan until they were soft enough. Sorry it wasn’t clear in the recipe! Hope you like how it turns out!

        1. My pleasure Jerilyn! Hope the dish turned out to your liking! And, I’d love for you to read and comment as much as you wish! Have a great week!

  2. Yum yum yum!! I love that little ‘pop’ that quinoa has. Also love the idea of trying a new food every month. I may have to steal that one! 😉

    1. Hello!

      I know what you mean about the little ‘pop’ that quinoa has. It’s like eating a spoonful of beige bubbles!

      And now I have to think of other new grains/foods to try!! any quirky cool suggestions that also taste good at the same time??

      1. Have you tried amaranth? It’s kinda ‘bubbly’ like quinoa, but a little ‘mushy,’ too. In a good way. It’s really good in sweet recipes, like amaranth pudding. 🙂

        1. Nope never tried this before! This is the first I’ve heard of it and I had to look it up on Wikipedia! Thanks for the recommendation! I will try to look for it here in Buenos Aires!

  3. Quinoa is definitely on my list of “things to try” for 2013! I love this salad – full of delicious roasted veggies. A salad I could be proud to cram in my mouth 😀

    1. Hello Jess! do try quinoa! it’s a nice alternative to rice! 🙂 and has a nice nutty taste! I think i might just make it my resolution to try a different type of food each month!! (like quinoa).

    1. Hi Allison!

      you are most welcome! I hope you like it and if you do make it, let me know if it went well 🙂

      cheers,
      felicia

  4. I felt the same way about cooking quinoa before I had given it a try. It just seemed so intimidating and looking back, I don’t know why I thought it would be difficult!

    1. Hi Leah!

      You’re exactly right – i think I had fears of quinoa because I just didn’t know anything about it. This proves that many of our fears are really uncalled for and there isn’t really much of a reason why we should be scared of things, experiences or foods!!

  5. Nunca había oído hablar de quinoa…..pero me gusta al verla en tus photos!
    Creo que se encuentra en los almacenes orientales,mañana mismo me voy a enterar.
    Y te copio la receta! Gracias , ¡Buen viaje!…………

    1. Hola Anna!

      Si, no es muy commun la quinoa en general, pero parece ser que esta poniendo de moda y mucha gente esta comenzado a comerla! Encima es un grano muy sano, lleno de nutrientes! Ojala que te guste cuando lo pruebes!!
      besote

  6. GRRREEEAATTT!!! Yo hago una ensalada fría de quinoa, arroz yamani, granos de choclo, succhinis asados o salteados y pedacitos de alguna fruta como por ejemplo; damasco, mango, durazno y por qué no…naranja. Es super fresca para estos dáis de calor!!!

    ¡¡¡Buen viaje!!!, María

    1. Maria!! capaz nos vemos despues en Curves! Manana es el vuelo!
      La ensalada tuya parece muy rico! tiene de todo…! hasta frutas! esta vez fue la primera vez que probe quinoa, asi que la proxima vez capaz experimento con una receta dulce de quinoa!!

      besos a vos y martina!!

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