Quinoa is still a huge mystery to some and to be honest, once you have perfected how you cook the quinoa, the rest is a piece of cake:) I have tested a few variations and if you want easy, fluffy, no hassle quinoa, try my instructions that are in the recipe below.

I had company over the other night and made this quinoa salad – they loved it! The flavors blended together so nicely! To be honest, I really wanted to use the ingredients that I had on hand – some peppers that were not so ‘fresh’ to use in salad, a can of chickpeas, vidalia onions and roma tomatoes (again, I forgot to use them and they weren’t so firm to the touch anymore). I turned on my oven, roasted the veggies and created a new salad! You can do this too with no fuss! To save time, when you cook quinoa, make extra and freeze it in baggies! By the time you finish chopping and getting your additions ready, the quinoa will be thawed. By prepping foods to use later on you are creating a great healthy habit!

Be creative!! As always, I’d love to hear from you and what you put in your quinoa!

Roasted Quinoa Salad
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or combination of ground cumin/cinnamon/coriander
  • 2 red peppers, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, cut in rounds
  • Plum, roma or grape tomatoes, coarsely sliced
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

To make the quinoa: Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 12 minutes. Then turn the heat off and leave the covered pot on the stove for at least 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.

Preheat oven to 375°

  1. In a small bowl toss the chickpeas with cayenne pepper and olive oil and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30- 40 minutes, turning the chickpeas midway. Remove from the oven, and let cool.
  2. Place the peppers, onion slices and tomatoes on another cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle a little olive oil over the vegetables and roast in oven for 15- 20 minutes, turn vegetables over, and continue to roast until blackened in spots and cooked through, approximately another15 minutes. When the vegetables are at room temperature, cut them all to bite sized pieces.

Put the cooked quinoa in a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables, dried chickpeas and pistachio nuts; toss until mixed. Add the olive oil with salt and pepper and mix well. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

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