Friday, November 28, 2014

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables

Quinoa is one of my very favorite superfoods. It originated thousands of years ago in South America where it was known as "the mother of all grains." It certainly has an impressive nutritional pedigree, chock full of protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and potassium, it seems it has every right to be called a superfood. 1 cup of cooked quinoa has over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, 2 and 6.  To round it out nicely it has small amounts of calcium, B3 (Niacin),Vitamin E plus it's gluten free. Little wonder it was considered sacred to the Incas. These days it's grown in the US, White Mountain Farm was the first US company to grow quinoa as a commercial crop back in 1987. 

With all these health benefits bursting forth from this tiny seed (technically it's a seed not a grain) I wanted to share my current favorite quinoa salad. I made a huge bowl of this for the Thanksgiving table yesterday, it's packed with delicious flavors from the roasted butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and red onions all slightly caramelized to add a hint of sweetness.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables.

Serves 6-8

2 medium-large red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
Olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1 small bunch fresh mint
1 small bunch parsley
Juice of a lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oven to 425 F

1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve until the water runs clear. Place the quinoa in a pan add 3 cups of water, cover and bring to the boil. When boiling turn down to a simmer and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. They will look like tiny little spirals. Place in a large serving bowl and allow to cool.

2. Place the onions, butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes on a large baking tray. Drizzle over some olive oil, sprinkle over salt, pepper, cinnamon and cumin. Roast for approximately 35-45 minutes, checking very 20 minutes or so, moving the veggies around so they cook evenly. When cooked through and the edges are just caramelized remove from oven and add to the quinoa.

3. Add the tomatoes, fresh herbs, lemon juice and a few healthy gulgs of olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Toss gently and serve.


  1. Great salad - full of fabulous Thanksgiving flavors!

  2. Wonderful quinoa recipe Mary- love this blog Saroj x


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