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Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

This quinoa salad with roasted vegetables is a versatile, nutritious, and flavorful dish. It combines the nuttiness of quinoa with the earthiness of roasted eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash. A vibrant dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic lends a refreshing tang, while fresh herbs and pine nuts offer a burst of aroma and texture. The recipe concludes with a sprinkle of feta cheese, adding a touch of creamy indulgence to this wholesome recipe.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe
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Photos of Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

In this recipe, quinoa, a grain that's high in protein and fiber, is a key ingredient. It may not be a staple in every home, but it's readily available in most supermarkets. Another ingredient, pine nuts, is often found in the baking aisle or with other nuts. These small, crunchy seeds add a nice texture to the salad. Similarly, the fresh herbs, basil and mint, can be found in the produce section. If you're not familiar with these herbs, they have a unique, refreshing flavor that really enhances the taste of the salad.

Ingredients for Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Quinoa: A nutritious grain that's high in both protein and fiber.

Eggplant: Provides a meaty texture and absorbs other flavors well.

Zucchini: A versatile vegetable that adds a mild flavor and plenty of nutrients.

Yellow squash: Similar to zucchini, but offers a slightly sweeter taste.

Olive oil: Used for roasting vegetables and making the dressing, it adds healthy fats and richness.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Black pepper: Adds a touch of heat and complexity.

Lemon juice: Gives the salad a refreshing tang.

Garlic: Contributes a savory depth of flavor.

Grape tomatoes: These tiny tomatoes add a sweet, juicy pop.

Basil leaves: These fresh herbs add a unique, peppery flavor.

Mint leaves: They offer a cool, refreshing taste.

Pine nuts: They give a crunchy texture and sweet, buttery flavor.

Feta: This tangy, creamy cheese is the perfect final touch.

One reader, Hank Reilly says:

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This quinoa salad with roasted vegetables recipe is a game-changer! The combination of flavors is simply divine. The roasted veggies add a delightful crunch, and the quinoa is perfectly fluffy. The blend of herbs and feta cheese is a delightful touch. It's a must-try for anyone looking for a healthy and delicious meal.

Hank Reilly

Techniques Required for Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

How to roast the vegetables: Roast the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash at 425 degrees F until softened and beginning to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes.

How to cook the quinoa: Simmer the uncooked quinoa with water in a small saucepan until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, then let it steam with the lid on for 5 minutes.

How to toast the pine nuts: Cook the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they're turning lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes.

How to assemble the salad: Whisk together the lemon juice and garlic, then slowly pour in the remaining olive oil while whisking constantly to emulsify the mixture. Add the tomatoes, quinoa, basil, mint, roasted vegetables, and pine nuts, and gently stir to combine. Season generously with salt, pepper, and maybe another squeeze of lemon, to taste. Garnish with crumbled feta and serve at room temperature.

How To Make Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Serve a fresh and flavorful quinoa salad on your weeknight dinner with the fresh taste of Mediterranean veggies. It is easy to make, light, and healthy too.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • cupuncooked quinoarinsed or 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small eggplantdiced
  • 1small zucchinidiced
  • 1small yellow squashdiced
  • 4tbspolive oildivided
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 2tbsplemon juiceto taste, about 1 medium lemon
  • 1clovegarlicpressed or minced
  • ½cupgrape tomatoes quarter any larger tomatoes
  • 2tbspfresh basil leaveschopped
  • 2tbspfresh mint leaveschopped
  • 2tbsppine nutstoasted

For Garnish

  • crumbled fetaoptional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Divide the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash between the two baking sheets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss.

  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the veggies are softened and beginning to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set the roasted vegetables aside to cool.

  4. To cook the quinoa, combine the uncooked quinoa with ⅔ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low.

  5. Simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let the quinoa steam with the lid on for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and set aside.

  6. To toast the pine nuts, cook them in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they’re turning lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

  7. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and garlic. Slowly pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil while whisking constantly to emulsify the mixture.

  8. Add the tomatoes, quinoa, basil, mint, roasted vegetables, and pine nuts, and gently stir to combine. Season generously with salt, pepper, and maybe another squeeze of lemon, to taste.

  9. Garnish with crumbled feta and serve at room temperature.

  10. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 850.18kcal
  • Fat: 27.33g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.39g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 13.46g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 8.69g
  • Carbohydrates: 127.75g
  • Fiber: 16.29g
  • Sugar: 5.70g
  • Protein: 27.49g
  • Sodium: 1132.60mg
  • Calcium: 146.57mg
  • Potassium: 1802.00mg
  • Iron: 9.78mg
  • Vitamin A: 102.42µg
  • Vitamin C: 41.98mg

Key Technique Tip for Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

When roasting vegetables, it's important to cut them into even pieces to ensure they cook evenly. Also, don't overcrowd the baking sheet. Giving the vegetables space allows them to roast and caramelize rather than steam. This will give your quinoa salad a deeper, more complex flavor.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Quinoa Salad

Prep ahead: Chop and roast the vegetables and cook the quinoa in advance to save time when assembling the salad later.

One pan: Consider roasting all the vegetables on a single baking sheet to minimize clean-up and streamline the cooking process.

Batch cooking: Make a larger quantity of quinoa and roasted vegetables to use in other dishes throughout the week, saving time on future meal prep.

Use kitchen tools: Utilize a food processor to quickly chop the vegetables or a rice cooker to effortlessly cook the quinoa, making the process more efficient.

Organized workspace: Keep all ingredients and tools within reach to maintain a smooth workflow and reduce time spent searching for items.

Substitute Ingredients For Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

  • quinoa - Substitute with bulgur: Bulgur has a similar nutty flavor and chewy texture, making it a great substitute for quinoa in salads.

  • eggplant - Substitute with portobello mushrooms: Portobello mushrooms have a meaty texture and a rich, earthy flavor that can be a great substitute for eggplant in this recipe.

  • zucchini - Substitute with yellow squash: Yellow squash has a similar texture and mild flavor, making it a suitable substitute for zucchini in the roasted vegetable salad.

  • yellow squash - Substitute with zucchini: Zucchini can be used as a substitute for yellow squash, as it has a similar texture and flavor profile.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar can provide a tangy acidity similar to lemon juice in the dressing for the salad.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can add a mild onion flavor similar to garlic when used in the dressing for the salad.

  • grape tomatoes - Substitute with cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes can be used as a substitute for grape tomatoes, as they have a similar sweet and juicy flavor.

  • fresh basil leaves - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can provide a vibrant, herbaceous flavor similar to basil in the salad.

  • fresh mint leaves - Substitute with fresh cilantro: Fresh cilantro can add a bright, citrusy flavor similar to mint in the salad.

  • pine nuts - Substitute with slivered almonds: Slivered almonds can provide a similar nutty crunch and texture as pine nuts in the salad.

  • feta - Substitute with goat cheese: Goat cheese can be used as a substitute for feta, offering a tangy and creamy flavor to the salad.

Presenting Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the quinoa salad, consider using a large, flat plate to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the dish. The plate should be clean and free of any spills or smudges to create a visually appealing presentation.

  2. Incorporate height and layers: Build the quinoa salad with roasted vegetables in a way that creates height and layers on the plate. This can be achieved by stacking the vegetables and quinoa strategically, creating an enticing visual appeal.

  3. Garnish with precision: Use fresh herbs and pine nuts as a garnish to add a pop of color and texture to the dish. Carefully place the garnishes on top of the salad, ensuring they are evenly distributed and visually appealing.

  4. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the quinoa salad to stand out. Avoid overcrowding the plate, as this can detract from the overall presentation.

  5. Focus on symmetry and balance: Arrange the components of the quinoa salad with roasted vegetables thoughtfully, aiming for a balanced and symmetrical presentation. This attention to detail will enhance the visual appeal of the dish.

  6. Consider the plate as a canvas: Treat the plate as a canvas and arrange the elements of the salad with artistic flair. Pay attention to color contrast and placement to create an aesthetically pleasing presentation.

  7. Highlight the roasted vegetables: Place the roasted vegetables strategically on the plate to draw attention to their vibrant colors and enticing textures. This will showcase the freshness and quality of the ingredients.

  8. Emphasize the quinoa: Position the quinoa at the center of the plate, allowing it to be the focal point of the presentation. This will highlight the wholesome and nutritious aspect of the dish.

  9. Use elegant serving utensils: When presenting the quinoa salad, opt for high-quality serving utensils that complement the sophistication of the dish. This attention to detail will elevate the overall presentation.

  10. Create a visually stunning composition: Arrange the quinoa salad with roasted vegetables in a visually stunning composition, considering color, texture, and placement to create an unforgettable presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Quinoa Salad

  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for roasting and baking.
  • Baking sheets: Flat metal sheets used for baking and roasting in the oven.
  • Parchment paper: A non-stick paper used for lining baking sheets and pans.
  • Small saucepan: A small cooking pot with a single, long handle, often used for heating liquids.
  • Skillet: A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods.
  • Whisk: A kitchen utensil used for whipping and mixing ingredients.
  • Serving bowl: A large bowl used for serving salads, pasta, and other dishes.
  • Fork: A utensil with prongs used for fluffing and stirring quinoa.
  • Airtight container: A container that is airtight, used for storing food in the refrigerator.

Storing and Freezing Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

  • To store leftover quinoa salad, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. The flavors will meld together and taste even better the next day!
  • If you want to freeze the salad, it's best to freeze the roasted vegetables and quinoa separately. Let them cool completely, then place in freezer-safe bags or containers and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • When ready to eat, thaw the vegetables and quinoa in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the veggies in the microwave or a skillet until warmed through.
  • Assemble the salad by combining the thawed components with freshly chopped herbs, tomatoes, pine nuts, and a fresh batch of the lemon-garlic dressing. This will ensure the best texture and flavor after freezing.
  • If you prefer, you can freeze the entire assembled salad, but the texture of the herbs and tomatoes may change slightly. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month, and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • To refresh the flavors after thawing, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

How To Reheat Leftover Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

  • To reheat leftover quinoa salad with roasted vegetables, start by removing it from the refrigerator and letting it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. This will help the salad to warm up evenly and prevent it from becoming soggy.
  • If you prefer your salad slightly warm, you can reheat it in the microwave. Place the desired portion in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high for 30-45 seconds, stirring halfway through. Be careful not to overheat the salad, as it can cause the vegetables to become mushy and the quinoa to dry out.
  • Another option is to reheat the salad in a skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil to the pan and sauté the salad for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's heated through. This method will help to crisp up the roasted vegetables and give the salad a nice texture.
  • If you want to keep the salad cold, you can refresh it by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss the salad well to combine the flavors and serve it chilled.
  • For a quick and easy lunch, you can also use leftover quinoa salad as a filling for wraps or pita pockets. Simply warm up the salad slightly, spoon it into your favorite wrap or pita, and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal on the go.

Random Fact about Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

The quinoa salad with roasted vegetables is a nutritious and delicious dish that can be enjoyed as a main meal or a side dish. Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. Additionally, the roasted vegetables provide a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This dish is a great way to incorporate healthy and flavorful ingredients into your diet, and it can be easily customized with your favorite vegetables and herbs.

Is Making Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Cost-Effective?

This quinoa salad with roasted vegetables recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. Quinoa is an affordable and nutritious grain, while the roasted vegetables can be tailored to include budget-friendly options. The addition of fresh herbs and lemon juice enhances flavors without breaking the bank. This dish offers a balance of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making it a great value for money. Rating: 9/10. Approximate cost for a household of 4 people: $12-15.

Is Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Healthy?

This quinoa salad with roasted vegetables is a nutritious and well-balanced dish. Here's why:

  • Quinoa is a protein-rich, gluten-free grain that provides essential amino acids and fiber
  • Roasted vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Olive oil is a healthy source of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health
  • Lemon juice and garlic add flavor without excessive calories or sodium
  • Fresh herbs like basil and mint provide additional antioxidants and flavor
  • Pine nuts contribute healthy fats and a satisfying crunch

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Increase the proportion of vegetables to quinoa for added fiber and nutrients
  • Use a variety of colorful vegetables to ensure a wide range of antioxidants and phytochemicals
  • Reduce the amount of olive oil used in the dressing to lower the overall calorie content
  • Opt for low-fat feta cheese or omit it altogether to decrease the saturated fat content
  • Add a lean protein source, such as grilled chicken or chickpeas, to increase the protein content and make the salad more satiating
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices to enhance flavor without relying on salt

Editor's Thoughts on This Delightful Quinoa Salad Recipe

The quinoa salad with roasted vegetables recipe is a delightful and nutritious dish that beautifully combines the earthy flavors of quinoa with the rich, caramelized taste of roasted vegetables. The blend of fresh herbs, tangy lemon juice, and creamy feta adds layers of complexity to the dish, creating a harmonious balance of flavors and textures. The recipe's simplicity and versatility make it a perfect option for a light lunch or a flavorful side dish. It's a wonderful way to showcase the natural goodness of vegetables and quinoa, making it a delightful addition to any meal.

Enhance Your Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for pairing with the quinoa salad.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and finished with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest, a delightful accompaniment to the quinoa salad.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Crispy Brussels sprouts coated in a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze, a delicious side dish to serve alongside the quinoa salad.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers: Combine ground turkey, quinoa, tomatoes, and feta cheese to stuff bell peppers, then bake until tender.
Coconut Curry Vegetable Soup: Simmer a mix of vegetables, coconut milk, and curry paste for a flavorful and comforting soup.
Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad: Grill peaches and toss with arugula, goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette for a sweet and savory salad.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken: Marinate chicken in a lemon garlic mixture, then roast until golden and juicy for a delicious main dish.
Berry Chia Seed Pudding: Mix chia seeds with almond milk and berries, then let it sit overnight for a healthy and satisfying dessert.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Bruschetta: Satisfy your guests' taste buds with this classic Italian appetizer. Toasted bread topped with a vibrant mixture of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil, this bruschetta is sure to impress.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This elegant dessert is perfect for a special occasion or a romantic evening in.
Berry Parfait: Layer juicy mixed berries with creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy granola for a refreshing and healthy dessert option. The vibrant colors and flavors make this parfait a delightful treat for any time of day.

Why trust this Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of wholesome ingredients, ensuring a flavorful and nutritious meal. The roasted vegetables bring a rich, caramelized taste, complemented by the nutty quinoa and aromatic blend of fresh herbs. The use of lemon juice and olive oil enhances the dish with a refreshing zing and a touch of healthy fats. The careful instructions and thoughtful combination of ingredients guarantee a satisfying and well-balanced quinoa salad, making it a trustworthy choice for a delicious and nourishing meal.

Share your thoughts on the Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to suggest!
FAQ:
How long does it take to make this quinoa salad with roasted vegetables?
It takes about 45 minutes to prepare and cook this quinoa salad with roasted vegetables.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can I omit the pine nuts from the recipe?
Absolutely! If you have a nut allergy or simply prefer not to use pine nuts, you can omit them from the recipe without compromising the overall flavor.
Can I substitute other vegetables in this recipe?
Of course! You can customize the roasted vegetables to your preference. Bell peppers, asparagus, or cherry tomatoes would also work well in this recipe.
Is this quinoa salad suitable for vegans?
Yes, this quinoa salad with roasted vegetables is suitable for vegans. It's a delicious and nutritious plant-based dish.

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