Zesty quinoa salad

Zesty quinoa salad with roasted vegetables

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) is an ingredient that has recently gained a lot of popularity and rave reviews for being one of the top healthy foods around. It took me a couple of tries before I was able to cook a decent batch that wasn’t too soggy, followed by several failed attempts at creating a good dressing, until I finally came up with a zesty quinoa salad recipe I was pleased with . Cooking by trial and error made me see that the key to a good zesty quinoa salad is to not over dress it so the grains remain a little crunchy.The dressing used for this recipe is thick and packed with flavor, thus only a little is needed to enhance the natural flavors of those lovely roasted vegetables.

ingredients

The dressing is very simple: Cherry tomatoes, pitted black olives, capers, jalapenos, basil, vinegar and oil. Blend it all up and you’ve got yourself and vibrant, sweet and spicy sauce. I am still experimenting with quinoa and can see how versatile this grain can be. Making a zesty quinoa salad is the basic, no fail way to use this seed so for you beginners out there who want to learn to start cooking with quinoa, this recipe is a good start point. I am still a novice too but I am working my way up the quinoa ladder hoping soon to be good enough to create a savory burger!

vegetable-in-tray

For me, cooking is fun when it’s challenging because I am forced to step outside my comfort zone and think creatively. There have been some terrible concoctions birthing from my kitchen (curdled lemon tarts with boiled egg yolk texture) but also some true standouts like last week’s black bean glazed salmon. Cooking is even more fun when the result is not only good but very healthy too. This quinoa salad is both.

Meal suggestions to pair with this zesty quinoa salad with roasted vegetables: potato celery soup, zucchini cakes, ginger shrimp balls.

Quinoa nutrition facts (according to the the USDA)

1 cup of cooked quinoa equals:

  • 222 calories
  • 3.6g fat
  • 0.0g saturated fat
  • 39.41 g carbohydrates
  • 31 mg calcium
  • 2.76 mg iron
  • 318 mg potassium
  • 2.02 mg zinc
dressing-ingredients Zesty quinoa salad Zesty quinoa salad Zesty quinoa salad Print

Zesty Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

This is a healthy, refreshing zesty quinoa salad recipe that’s vibrant and filling!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x
  • Category: Main, Salad
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 green bell pepper (sliced on the bias)
  • 1 zucchini (sliced on the bias)
  • 1 stalk celery (sliced on the bias)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 leaves basil (shredded)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

For the dressing:

  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 basil leaf
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 black olives (kalamata preferably)
  • 1 jalapeno (finely chopped)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 385Fº.
  2. In a sheet tray covered with aluminum foil, put the sliced vegetables and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 8 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly charred.
  4. Using two shallow bowls or plates, divide the ingredients evenly starting with the quinoa and top with vegetables.
  5. Pour dressing on top with shredded basil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve immediately.

For the dressing:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
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