Roasted vegetables, full of flavor, combined with light and nutritious quinoa makes this a perfect healthy hot lunch or side dish for dinner.
I can't tell you how happy this dish makes me. I smiled while I was making it. I definitely smiled while I was eating it. I smiled the next morning when I thought about eating it again for lunch. I smiled when I went through these pictures to write this post. There's something about a GIANT pan of vegetables, waiting to be roasted that is very all-is-right-with-the-world. I'm also pretty sure that this dish is gluten free (although I really am no expert, but all of these ingredients seem safe to me).
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 6-8 entree sized servings, more if serving as a side dish
- about 12 cups of chopped vegetables suitable for roasting -- I used 2 small yellow summer squash, 1 medium zucchini, 1 medium onion, 3/4 of a bag of baby carrots, a small handful of cherry tomatoes, and 3 bell peppers. You could obviously use what you like, and the amount doesn't have to be precise. Also consider mushrooms, asparagus brussel sprouts, broccoli, eggplant, or winter squash
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup Italian dressing
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 425. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment (preferred) or non-stick spray.
Chop your veggies into bite sized pieces. Throw them all into a large bowl.
Prepare your roasting juice. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and sugar. Pour over your veggies and toss to coat.
Transfer veggies onto baking sheets. Parchment is preferred here because the balsamic vinegar and the sugar will cook down into a burned, wretched mess on your baking pans as the veggies cook, but it stays perfectly fine on parchment. The mixture may seem rather liquidy, but much of that liquid will later help to moisten the quinoa.
Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa. Combine the water, Italian dressing (make sure you're using gluten free, if you're going for that), and Italian seasoning in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let quinoa sit for a couple of minutes before 'fluffing' it with a fork.
In a large bowl, combine vegetables and quinoa. Serve while warm. This dish reheats beautifully in the microwave, and can be kept for up to a week in the fridge.
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