Budget Friendly Food: My Superfood Quinoa Salad

This Quinoa dish is one of my favourite simple, healthy dishes. I cook this a lot, especially if I’m feeling a little run down and in need of really nourishing food.  

I find Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a great alternative to Rice as it helps regulate my blood sugar more evenly than Rice which can cause quite dramatic spikes in my blood sugar levels. Quinoa is additionally great for my vegetarian diet as it is protein rich, so you can see why I’m such a fan of this grain. 

This dish is really simple to make. I like to make a batch of roasted vegetables, usually consisting of Aubergine, Courgette, Peppers, Tomatoes and Shallots, which I can then use in the week in a range of different dishes, one of which is this healthy and tasty Quinoa dish. If you’re on a stricter food budget, you can substitute the roast vegetables with mixed frozen veg which can be added to the Quinoa near the end of it’s cooking time.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 150g mixed red and white Quinoa with Bulgar Wheat
  • 400ml of vegetable stock
  • Oil spray
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 shallots or 1 red onion, peeled and quartered. 
  • 2 peppers, red, yellow, orange or mixture, deseeded and cut into chunky long wedges
  • 200g baby courgettes, halved lengthways
  • 1 aubergine cut into cubes and rinsed
  • 1 cup of frozen peas and 2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables if using 
  • 1 handful of mixed seeds (Pumpkin, Sunflower and Chia seeds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of sugar
  • large handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 200g pack feta cheese (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Toss the aubergine, courgettes, onion and peppers with several sprays of the oil spray and seasoning on a roasting tray, then roast for 20 mins.

Toss the tomatoes and garlic with the rest of the veg and roast for another 15 mins.

Cook the quinoa following pack instructions. I like to cook the quinoa in vegetable stock to add some extra flavour. 

Add the frozen peas (and mixed frozen vegetables if using) to the Quinoa a few minutes before the end of the cooking time. Once cooked, remove from the heat and put to one side.

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and mash with some seasoning. Stir in the tablespoon of olive oil with the sugar and lemon juice.

Toast the mixed seeds in a dry pan, being careful not to char them.

Drizzle the seasoned garlic oil over the quinoa and toss together with the roasted vegetables, mint and seeds.

You can also add some crumbled feta to the quinoa at the end and gently combine everything together. Serve alone or with fish or chicken.

Jx

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