So, after a week spent snuggling up in sweatshirts and blankets, drinking tea as I got back into the spirit of the school year [do I hear a sarcastic *yay* for reading journal articles?], the temperature is back in the 80s and the skies are sunny. Guess summer wants to hang on a bit longer here.
After a visit to our local Farmer’s Market last weekend, I whipped up this quick, refreshing, and healthy lunch salad to enjoy all week long.
Every bite of Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad provides a thorough mix of a variety of the season’s most abundant vegetables with a mix of yellow summer squash, tomatoes, sweet pepper, and corn–all made sweeter [if that is even possible?!?!] by my latest favorite way to prepare vegetables: oven roasting. Roasting vegetables just adds another depth of flavor and texture that I’ve fallen in love with this summer. Mix in my favorite vegetarian protein, black beans, and a chewy, filling grain like quinoa and you have yourself a tasty and satisfying salad–perfect to eat at home or on the go. Any grain [rice, barley, couscous, etc.] would work in a pinch so just use whatever you have handy. I also think some cilantro thrown in would be just lovely, but I didn’t have any around so that was a no-go for me.
As much as I cannot wait to wear boots, eat my weight in apples, and take long walks with Ben while sipping a Pumpkin Spice latte, I’m content to enjoy summer’s bounty for a little while longer if it means more lunches like this Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad. I just can’t get enough!
Reader Question ~ What part of summer do you want to hang onto just a little while longer?
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
- 2 small yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
- 6 small roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small sweet pepper, chopped [I used Carmen]
- 1 ear sweet corn, kernels cut off
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- small handful fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash, tomatoes, corn, and peppers in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables become slightly blackened, flipping every 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare quinoa. First, rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer [to remove bitter hull]. Next, place in a 4 quart saucepan with 2 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes or until grains have turned transparent and spiral-like germ has separated.
When quinoa and vegetables are ready, gently combine in a large bowl. Fold in black beans, red chili flakes, and basil. Serve immediately or chill for a cold lunch salad.
Yield: 4 cups.
Time: 40 minutes.