I love quinoa. It’s funny to think that five years ago, I never heard of the stuff, and now I pick up a box practically every time I’m wandering through the organic aisle at the grocery store. The first time I made it, I hesitantly simmered it in chicken broth, added a bunch of spices, prayed it would taste ok (it didn’t, really). But there’s the Internet, and cookbooks, and this healthy food has become more than a fad experiment for me. Now we both scarf it down a couple of times a week, and it’s my go-to “filler” instead of rice or potatoes.
I haven’t posted a lot of recipes this summer (ok…this year…) but I have been cooking over the last couple of months and it’s high time to share a few of the best things I’ve made! This is hands down the best salad, and possibly the best meal, I’ve had all summer. I’ve made it once a week since I figured it out since it’s easy, delicious, and has leftovers. I would imagine you could toss in any veggies you had on hand, and it would still be good.
Roasted vegetable Quinoa salad
3/4 cup quinoa
1.5 cups water
3 peppers, chopped (red, yellow, green)
1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups baby spinach
chorizo sausage, about a cup, sliced
Halloumi cheese (I used the PC Halloom cheese with herbs and garlic)
1/4 to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Add quinoa and water to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, chop all your veggies: red pepper, green pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, place into a large bowl and drizzle 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar over top. Mix well. Chop sausage and cut cheese into cubes, then add to the veggies and mix.
Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then add your vegetables, sausage and cheese. Cook until the peppers are tender and to your liking (about 10 to 12 minutes for me).
Mix the quinoa in a bowl with 4 generous handfuls of baby spinach, then add the veggie mix and stir. Here you can add more balsamic vinegar (up to a 1/4 cup, but a few drizzles will probably do).
**You could also grill this beautiful mess of a salad in foil or a veggie tray on the barbecue and it would be delicious. I tend to get it all ready during afternoon nap time, and then stick the bowl of veggies in the fridge. Once Baby J was in bed for the night, I’d cook the quinoa and cook the veggies on the stove since it was dark out. This suited me better and tasted excellent.
The hallomi cheese is a bit pricey, but it really makes the salad and retains its shape while being grilled. If you wanted to skip it, tossing in some cubes of cheddar would probably work fine.