If you've never had quinoa, you don't know what you're missing. It's a delicious, nutty grain loaded with protein and fiber. And it's a breeze to digest.
I had some quinoa hanging out in the pantry and while I love my Vegetable, Bean and Quinoa Soup, summer just doesn't scream bean soup. So I decided to roast some veggies in extra virgin olive oil and toss it in quinoa -- much like the Barefoot Contessa's Roasted Vegetables and Orzo.
I originally was going to use a small eggplant in the mix, but as I cut into it, it was brown and yucky, so I walked outside and picked a zucchini from my garden. There really is nothing like picking a veggie from your garden and walking inside and using it immediately.
When I was at the grocery store, I saw these super cute little balls of fresh mozzarella -- perlini -- I thought would be absolutely perfect tossed in. If you're looking for a dairy-free option, just leave them out. This is a light, but filling dish perfect as a side for a summer gathering or a quick weekday meal. It's extremely easy to pull together during the day and simply warm up on a summer busy night.
Roasted Veggies with Quinoa
1 green pepper, chopped 1-inch
1 yellow pepper, chopped 1-inch
1 zucchini, chopped 1-inch
1 red onion, chopped 1-inch
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup perlini fresh mozzarella
4 scallions, sliced thinly
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Place all of the diced veggies on the baking sheet and toss with your hands. Top with the garlic, olive oil and salt.
Mix well with your hands. Smooth out the veggies so they are in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Place in the oven for 40 minutes (or until soft and nicely roasted), tossing once with a spatula at the 20-minute mark.
Meanwhile cook quinoa according to directions. (I place one cup of quinoa with 2 cups of salted water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The quinoa is cooked when you see the outer edge pull away from the grain and appear and the liquid has been absorbed.)
Add the cooked veggies to the quinoa.
Top with the mozzarella and scallions, resalt if necessary and serve.
This is perfect warm, room temperature or cold, which makes it great for summer picnics or outings -- toss some in a tupperware and go!
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