Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Quinoa salads have been a staple lately. I make a big batch of quinoa, roast up some veggies (it's been extra hot here, so I quite literally carry our toaster oven into the garage and roast them in there so that the house doesn't take all that extra heat), allow everything to cool, and then toss it all with fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, feta, toasted pine nuts, and a lemon vinaigrette.

The combo is light but satisfying, summery and fresh. And just look at that rainbow of colors:  

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Another perk when it comes to quinoa salads is that you can very easily adapt them. Recently I added chickpeas in place of feta (a good vegan option, if you're into that), made a red wine, garlic and herb vinaigrette lemon, and served it all over butterhead lettuce instead of baby greens. Voila! A totally different experience, but the same exact method. 

The point is, you can swap whatever the heck is in season into this recipe. This particular recipe uses peak-of-summer crops. Some other combos to tantalize your tastebuds with:

  • Cherry tomatoes, bite-sized fresh mozzarella pieces, and basil with balsamic vinaigrette

  • Fresh tomato, cucumber, parsley, kalamata olives and chickpeas for a greek version

  • Bell peppers, broccoli florets, cilantro, bean sprouts, and a sesame soy dressing

  • Sugar snap peas, roasted asparagus, radishes, and sprouts for a cheery spring edition

  • Roasted butternut squash cubes, goat cheese, black beans, and walnuts for a late summer or fall version

But for now, onward to this summery rainbow of a recipe! 

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Published June 19, 2018 by
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Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 60 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 medium summer squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2-3 cups baby greens (such as baby kale or spinach) 

  • For the dressing:
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Dice eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Slice summer squash into half moons, and slice red onion into medium-large wedges. Spread all of them out on a sheet pan, and drizzle with olive oil, tossing them in the oil to coat. Roast veggies for 30-40 minutes, until onions are brown on the edges and eggplant is very soft the whole way through, and starting to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
    2. In a large salad bowl, combine: cooled quinoa and cooled roasted veggies, sliced grape tomatoes, minced parsley, feta, pine nuts, and baby greens.
    3. In a small jar, combine ingredients for dressing. Close jar and shake to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss until everything is combined. Serve.

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    Moroccan Spiced Carrot Salad (Paleo & Vegan)

    Moroccan Carrot Salad is a quick recipe: only 4 real salad components, if you don’t count the spices that give it that Moroccan flare. Carrots, parsley, raisins, and lemon vinaigrette. Then, ground cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, and cinnamon pop in and dress it up. Thanks to those spices, this carrot salad really stands out. 

    To my surprise, little baby carrot heads were popping out from the surface of our garden beds back in early March. They were from seeds planted last year, ones that didn’t sprout before the season ended. And somehow, they grew on through snow and frost and unpredictable Colorado spring weather... hardy little plants to say the least! I’m planning to xeriscape our front yard this year, and build brand new garden boxes, so I’ll likely have to wipe them out before they get fully grow, but maybe they’ll have enough time to grow into baby carrots before then. 

    Carrots are a hardy after they’re picked, too: you can make this the day before, and then drizzle on the vinaigrette at the last minute. The carrots won’t get soggy in the fridge overnight. 

    I use a food processor (affiliate link) with a shredding attachment to shred the carrots — I do not have the patience to do that by hand! 

    This is the perfect side to Moroccan Beef Kabobs, or Lamb & Winter Squash Tagine.

    Moroccan Spiced Carrot Salad

    Published April 17, 2018 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 3 to 4 cups shredded carrots
    • 1/3 cup minced parsley
    • 1/3 cup raisins
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 4 dashes ground cayenne
    • Juice from 2 lemons
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt

    Directions:

    1. Place shredded carrots in a bowl with minced parsley and raisins. Add cumin coriander, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne and toss.
    2. Make vinaigrette: Mince the garlic and add it to a jar with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Shake to combine. (Makes enough dressing for 2-3 salads). Drizzle about 1/3 of vinaigrette over salad, or to taste. Toss and serve!

    Want to get more recipes like this? Sign up for the Foraged Dish email newsletter. I'll send you a free printable of my favorite Grain-Free Banana Bread recipe. 

    4 Comments

    Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

    Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

    On a morning jog though Monterey, I worked not to slip on the wet cobble path beneath my feet. It had just rained, and was likely to start raining again soon, but for a moment the air hung still, albeit heavy with humidity. I was barely going fast enough to raise my respiratory rate (plus, at sea level the air is thick), but humidity made me sweat anyways. The sunrise was a blend of oranges and pinks and even purples, and I stopped to take pictures almost as much as I ran.

    The humidity held down any usual street smells, and instead what I smelled was the California coast at it's purest. Eucalyptus, as I ducked through a grove of trees; Rosemary, as I jogged by California's first theater (it is hedged with rosemary bushes, each over two feet tall); Lavender, as I passed through the English garden alongside the boat house. And over it all, the unmistakable smell and sound of the ocean: salty and constant.

    Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad
    Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

    In my head, I am calling this salad the "California Salad," because when all of the ingredients come together they paint a mirage of the west coast.

    As I drove down highway 1, I saw field after field of crops. It's hard to name them all: butterhead lettuce, artichokes, strawberries, and them I'm lost. These fields are a color of green that just isn't possible in the plains of Colorado, and that makes them almost hypnotizing. It's the color of fresh

    A walk under a citrus tree this time of year is a rewarding experience, as the branches are heavy with fruit. Grapefruit, oranges, lemon. Across the street, I noticed an avocado tree boasting a absurd number of fruits. They were small still, and I couldn't tell if that was just a characteristic of the variety or if they still had room to grow. 

    And there, near Cannery Row, was a storefront for an almond grower. They were stocked with piles of oils and butters and nuts. The smell of toasted nuts wafted from it's door, enough to override that salty ocean smell for a minute. 

    Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

    This salad is only a few of the scents and flavors you find on the west coast, but as I put it together I couldn't help but remember the ocean breeze, the rolling hills, and warm evenings. 

    Funnily enough, one of my last trips to the west coast also inspired a salad, which is completely different: Seared Wasabi Crusted Tuna Salad with Ginger & Almonds.

    Crunchy Arugula, Grapefruit & Avocado Salad

    Published January 16, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 10 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 5-ounce package of baby arugula
    • 1 grapefruit (large)
    • 1 avocado
    • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almond 
    • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds 
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey 
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

    Directions:

    1. Place arugula in a salad bowl.
    2. Cut the peel from the grapefruit, and then use a pairing knife to cut out each wedge of fruit, leaving the pith behind. Arrange fruit pieces over arugula.
    3. Slice avocado, and arrange over arugula. Sprinkle with almonds and sesame seeds.
    4. Make vinaigrette: place olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, and salt in a jar. Seal jar with a lid, and shake to combine ingreidents. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss!

    2 Comments