"Quinoa [KEEN-wah] is a tiny, bead-shaped, ivory-colored grain with a delicate flavor. This salad is really refreshing on a hot day. I like to pair it with chicken." --Gretchen Hofing, Clinton, MI
1 red bell pepper
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup balsamic blend seasoned rice vinegar (such as Nakano)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chopped carrot
3 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
1 3/4 cups chopped yellow squash
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
How to Make It
Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and cut bell pepper into strips.
Reduce oven temperature to 500°.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and stir in quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
Combine vinegar, oil, and black pepper in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add carrot to vinegar mixture; toss to coat. Drain carrot through a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving carrot and vinegar mixture. Place carrot on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 500° for 10 minutes. Add zucchini and yellow squash to reserved vinegar mixture in bowl; toss well to coat. Drain zucchini mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving zucchini and vinegar mixtures. Add zucchini mixture to carrot on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake an additional 20 minutes or until vegetables are browned. Remove from oven; cool completely.
Combine quinoa, roasted vegetables, reserved vinegar mixture, cheese, and garlic in a large bowl; stir well to combine. Cover and chill.
I think this salad is one of the best I've ever eaten! Tasty, with plenty of textures to appeal to everyone! I did just about double the vinegar mixture, using half balsamic to rice vinegar. You won't be disappointed! It is actually better when it sits to marry the flavors!
I wasn't as impressed with this recipe as I have been with other quinoa salads from Cooking Light magazine. I thought it actually was time intensive for the mediocre result. There are better recipes on this site with similar ingredients, so keep on looking.
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