This tasty warm salad with a quinoa base is perfect for using up leftover veggies as it can easily be adapted to use whatever you have in the fridge. For anyone not sold on the idea of a warm salad imagine this dish a little like a risotto with quinoa instead of rice. However, unless you are a true foodie or trendy hipster you may well be asking; what the heck is quinoa?
Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a type of small seed which when cooked is similar in texture to brown rice. In recent times it has been hailed as a bit of a superfood as it is not only full of protein fibre and iron but gluten free with a low glycaemic index. It is great for vegetarians and vegans who can sometimes miss out on important nutrients.
When cooked, although this may sound contradictory, it should be fluffy whilst having a little crunch to it. Some people have complained the quinoa tastes bitter but this is easily avoided. The outer coating of the seeds can be bitter which is why is it is so important to rinse it well before use. Doing this will rid it of any bitter taste.
This tasty salad is easy to prepare and as mentioned earlier works well with a number of vegetables. Turnips, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli all work well but why not experiment with what you have in the fridge and come up with your own unique take on this yummy quinoa salad.
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 ¼ cups of water
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
For roast vegetables
- 1 pound of butternut squash, cut into 1” cubes
- 14 ounces of Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 large red onion cut into ½ inch cubes
- Few sprigs of fresh or dried thyme
- Salt and black pepper for seasoning
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- Pinch of sugar
- Rinse the quinoa and leave it to drain. Ensure the strainer is fine as otherwise the quinoa will fall through.
- In a saucepan add the water and salt to the quinoa
- Bring saucepan to a simmer and leave to cook for around 15 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed. Leave the saucepan lid on with a small gap at the side.
- When quinoa is cooked, close lid fully and put to one side.
- Whilst cooking the quinoa place butternut squash, sprouts and onion on a baking tray and drizzle with oil until evenly coated.
- Sprinkle vegetables with the salt, pepper and thyme.
- Place tray in an oven pre heated to 400F for 30 minutes. To check if vegetables are properly cooked they should feel soft when pierced with a knife.
- Whisk the lemon juice with the mustard, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Keep whisking until you can no longer feel grains of salt or sugar.
- Slowly drizzle olive oil to the mixture whilst whisking to create the vinaigrette
- When everything is cooked place quinoa in the bottom of a bowl. Lay half the roasted vegetables on top and mix together. Then add remaining vegetables to the top.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the salad and serve warm.