Quinoa with roasted vegetables
Behold, another fantastic detox vegetarian recipe. Post on all the food exploration to come soon as well of course. But first, I must talk about quinoa, one of my favourite things in the world. If you have not had this superfood then you really are missing out. It’s not too hard to find (although a bit harder to obtain in Australia than America, where it’s pretty much ubiquitous at supermarkets), and is packed with protein and fiber while still being delicious and a fantastic substitute for rice or other grains. I am a huge fan and my favourite dish to make with it is a simple quinoa and veggies bowl. It’s very flexible and you can add any veggies you want to it, so experiment and have fun! Again, sorry about lack of prep photos (making this dish is second nature to me and thus I forgot), but cutting vegetables isn’t hard, I promise.
Quinoa with roasted vegetables
Makes a solid 4-5 servings, especially if you pack it with veggies like I do!
1 cup quinoa (the pre-rinsed kind from Whole Foods is the best and not even expensive…or just try to buy pre-rinsed somewhere)
2-3 medium onions (red or white)
4-5 carrots (also can throw in some sweet potatoes if you’re in the mood)
Assortment of veggies: I like color, so I use any combo of the following: red peppers, yellow peppers, broccoli, yellow squash, or zucchini. I would use 1 red pepper or yellow pepper and two heads of broccoli, or use two two zucchini in place of the broccoli. You really can’t go wrong with too many veggies here of course though, so go nuts.
Good quality olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Lemon juice (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C. Cook the quinoa according to directions. This really isn’t hard – it always says how on the package and it’s typically a ratio of about 1 part quinoa to 3 parts water. I honestly find it easier to cook than rice. You know it’s done when it’s tender and it’s expanded significantly in size and is looking slightly translucent. Obviously all the water has to be fully absorbed. If you taste it after it should be done and it’s still kind of crunchy, add a bit more water and keep simmering, because you definitely don’t want crunchy texture when it comes to quinoa.
While it’s cooking, prep all your veggies. Dice the carrots and the onion first and put in one large pan or cookie sheet that is greased with some nonstick spray. Pop it in the oven as they will take longer than the other veggies. Then cut all the other veggies into bite size or smaller pieces and place on another greased tray. The carrots/onions typically take around 20-25 minutes, whereas sometimes the peppers/zucchini/broccoli only take about 10. Make sure to watch your oven and taste often, as only you know your optimal vegetable done-ness time. (For instance, I still like all my veggies fairly crunchy.)
When the veggies are tender enough for your liking, take out of the oven and dump into an enormous bowl. Dump in the fully cooked quinoa and mix it all up. Add a couple teaspoons of olive oil and some lemon juice if you are using it (I currently actually have awesome lemon infused olive oil, so I just use that). Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, and continue mixing it up and readjusting if necessary by adding more olive oil or salt/pepper. Like cookie dough, I tend to eat this straight from the bowl, but with zero guilt factor. 🙂 It really is so good and incredibly versatile – I tend to eat it warmed up in the microwave for lunch or dinner when it’s cold out, but as a cold salad when it’s warmer (tastes great over lettuce leaves as well). This also makes excellent leftovers for lunches throughout the week. Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go try quinoa.
Finished product – pretty colours!