Roasted Veggie Quinoa
Good morning sweet friends. It’s Monday, which means it’s time to go to work and eat your veggies- making Mondays officially the worst. But don’t worry, I am here to make one of those things better for you! Hint: it’s eating your veggies. I can’t really make going to work better…sorry. But the good news is you can take this quinoa to work with you and that will kind of make your day better. I do what I can.
Remember way back when (like 5 years ago) when no one had even heard of quinoa? And then once we did hear of it we all thought it was pronounced kwin-no-ah? Yeah…me too. I still read it that way in my head, not gonna lie. Kinda like anytime I say ‘chicken’ I hear a Frenchman saying ‘scheeck-on hon hon hon’ in my head (’cause that’s how a French guy would say ‘chicken’ y’all).
OK, before you have me committed just make this quinoa and try it. And then maybe you will rethink calling the guys in the white coats to come and collect me. Maybe. Because roasted veggies = the best veggies. Of all the veggies. Honestly, I can’t think of a vegetable I wouldn’t prefer roasted. Maybe avocados? But aren’t those technically a fruit or something? So no. All the veggies we can think of should be roasted at all times.
And then tossed with cheese. Because nothing makes veggies delicious like cheese. Nothing makes most things delicious like cheese. Except maybe Chinese food? Kung Pao chicken with shredded cheddar does not sound appealing.
But back to this quinoa. Which is appealing with cheese. If you are a roasted veggie newbie, don’t worry- you know I’ve got your back with some easy tips. 1. Don’t be scurred of the high heat. It’s gonna make the veggies crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. 2. Lightly oil the veggies. Too much oil will leave them, well, oily. Too little oil will make them dry. It makes sense in an obvious kind of way but its hard to figure out the ratio. I recommend spraying them with the EVOO Pam stuff. It’s a game changer. 3. Don’t forget to stir them halfway through. Seriously. Otherwise you will end up with some seriously burned and seriously undercooked veggies and no amount of cheese can save that hot mess.
And for you quinoa newbs, don’t freak out. Quinoa is easy to cook and crazy high in protein which according to any fitness/health magazine/Paleo-diet-nut is good (no offense to you Paleo dieters, I just enjoy cake wayyyyy too much for that nonsense). The biggest thing to know about quinoa is you gotta rinse it before you cook it or it will be bitter. Or you can buy pre-rinsed quinoa, but I usually still rinse mine just because I have trust issues or something I guess. And since uncooked quinoa sticks to ev-er-y thing like super glue, I line a mesh strainer with a paper towel, fill it with my dry quinoa and then rinse. The quinoa doesn’t seem to stick to the paper towel too much and whatever is left stuck to it can be tossed. Way easier than picking little uncooked quinoas off your strainer for the rest of the month.
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5 c. broccoli florets, chopped (about 1 head of broccoli)
- 1 cauliflower, florets chopped
- 4 c. eggplant, diced (about 1/2 of an eggplant)
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- EVOO spray
- 1 c. water
- 1/2 c. quinoa
- 1 t. salt
- 2 c. kale, chopped
- 1 t. EVOO
- 2 small peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1 c. black olives, sliced
- 1 T. EVOO
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 t. cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, onion, and lemon slices and spread out on to a large baking sheet. Spray lightly with EVOO (or toss veggies with 1-2 t. of EVOO). Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- While veggies are roasting, combine water, rinsed quinoa (see notes from post) and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- While veggies and quinoa are cooling put kale in a large salad bowl and drizzle with 1 t. EVOO. Massage for about 10 minutes or until kale is smooth and silky. Combine cooled roasted veggies, quinoa, kale and peppers. In a small bowl whisk together 1 T. EVOO, juice of 1 lemon, cayenne pepper and S&P. Pour over salad. Toss with cheese and enjoy!