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Oh you guys!!! This recipe came to life when I was in the middle of cleaning out my fridge of all things!! I was just about to head out the door for our FIFTH Spring Delight Retreat (www.delightandbe.com), and wanted to put together a fresh salad for the leaders to share for dinner before the girls arrived! That, and I was hungry and just wanted to have a road-trip snack. :)
I naturally cook mainly gluten and dairy free. And it’s not that I am vegan or vegetarian, but this salad meets all of the regulations of being GF, DF, vegan, vegetarian, etc. It may not be grain free, after all, but it’s pretty tasty and a meal I would throw a grilled chicken breast on and call dinner!
I pulled bell peppers and zucchini, onion, sweet potato and basil out of the fridge and threw a small pot of quinoa on the stove. I ran outside to my garden and grabbed mint, sage, thai basil and rosemary and pureed them all together with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and a little white balsamic vinegar and just like that, one of the very best dressings ever created just appeared! I drizzled it over the veggies and mixed it all together with the quinoa. I did sautée the veggies, and because I have a gas cooktop, I roasted the bell peppers directly over the flame just to get that grill taste. It can be served with more chopped fresh herbs, feta or parmesan cheese, pita bread, topped with a grilled chicken breast, and eaten warm or cold!!
Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad | Serves 4-6
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups quinoa
Place water in small pot and bring to boil. Add in quinoa, salt if desired, a splash of olive oil and stir. Turn down to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until water has absorbed into quinoa.
1 large sweet potato, or 2 small ones, diced into 1″ cubes
1 large yellow or sweet onion, diced
2 bell peppers, red or orange
In a pan, sautée each vegetable separately until slightly softened. Cooking the vegetables separately will allow them to retain their individual flavor, and each one will cook more evenly. If you have a gas cooktop, turn a burner onto medium/high and place whole bell peppers over the flame. Turn occasionally until the skin is charred. The pepper will be slightly softened. Just chop up and add to the salad. Once all vegetables are sautéed, combine all together in large mixing bowl.
Add in quinoa.
For dressing :
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves | thai or regular basil
3 springs rosemary
3 springs sage
2 TBS dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
Zest of one lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
White balsamic vinegar
Add all herbs into small cuisinart mixer. Add in dijon mustard, lemon zest, vinegar, salt & pepper, and garlic. Begin pureeing and add in olive oil until emulsified.
Pour over quinoa and vegetables. Stir till combined. Serve with feta or parmesan cheese, pita bread, grilled chicken, or eat as is! Enjoy!!