Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad With Feta
This recipe is so versatile, and can be adapted to whatever veggies you have to hand – it’s a great fridge clearer!
Serves: 2 • Prep Time: N/A • Cook Time: 40 mins
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Feta
Who wants a recipe for the easiest, simplest quinoa recipe ever?
(Settle down. Don’t all shout at once)
Here you go – roasted vegetable quinoa salad! Quinoa can be used in tons of different ways, some of which you’ve probably never dreamed of… but sometimes it’s just as satisfying to revert back to something really simple: quinoa, simply cooked, with lots of yummy bits mixed through. The perfect quinoa salad.
And what could be more yummy to mix into your quinoa than roasted vegetables? I swear, roasting is a totally magical way of cooking veg – it can turn something pretty bog-standard into a chewy, sweet little nugget of caramelised heaven.
I know that sounds over the top, but seriously. Roasted veg. The best.
You can roast all sorts of vegetables that you might not have thought of – cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus… there are very few veg that aren’t improved by roasting!
If the soft and sweet roasted vegetables in this quinoa salad aren’t quite enough for you, I also add a little bit of crumbled feta cheese to my quinoa, just for an extra sense of luxury. The sweetness of the veg and the saltiness of the feta are a perfect combination!
quinoa, simply cooked, with lots of yummy bits mixed through. The perfect quinoa salad.
In my opinion, there never needs to be a functional reason to add cheese to a dish (apart from maybe breakfast cereal… I’d take a bit of convincing there…); the fact that it’s completely delicious is reason enough. But, as well as being really tasty, the feta also doubles the protein content of this quinoa salad. In each portion of the recipe, there’s about 7g of protein from the quinoa, and another 7g from the feta cheese. Considering adults only need about 50g of protein a day, 14g isn’t bad for a vegetarian lunch with no ‘fake meat’, tofu or eggs in sight.
This is the great thing about quinoa – it has a much higher protein content than a lot of similar ingredients. Rice, for example, contains a measly 2.6g of protein per 100g, compared to quinoa’s 14g! The quinoa helps make this salad a filling and satisfying lunch that’s still healthy – no need to feel guilty for the few pieces of feta (or large handful of feta, if you’re like me) that you sprinkle on top.
A lot of people think healthy vegetarian food is going to be difficult to make, but this quinoa salad is easy to put together. Start by roasting your veg. You can use whatever vegetables you have to hand – Mediterranean-style vegetables work well with the feta, so I went for tomatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers. I also added some sweet potato, because it makes the whole thing feel nice and hearty. Keep the skins on for extra nutrients!
Once you’ve roasted your veg, mix them with the cooked quinoa, some fresh parsley and the lovely feta cheese. A good squeeze of lemon keeps everything feeling fresh (and since lemon is parsley’s best friend, it’s a no-brainer). That’s it. It’s so easy to make.
The best thing about this salad (aside from the fluffy quinoa… and the crumbly feta… and the caramelised roasted veg…) is that you can serve it hot or cold. So it’s great for a quick lunch or dinner – or, if you’re organised enough to cook in advance (how I envy you!), you can serve it cold the next day too. It’s great for taking along to a picnic or popping in your packed lunch.
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Alternative quinoa salads
Quinoa salads are seriously versatile – if you’re not a fan of the mix-ins I chose, don’t worry, just change it up! You can use any number of combinations to produce an amazing quinoa salad that’s different every time. Try to go for a colourful mixture of vegetables. More colours = wider variety of vitamins! That one’s pretty easy to sell.
You can also change the cheese you use (try crumbled soft goat’s cheese or little balls of mozzarella instead), add a handful of nuts, maybe a few soybeans for even more protein – the possibilities are endless. So don’t take this recipe as a careful prescription, but rather use it as more of a general guide. That’s the great thing about quinoa – because it has a mild flavour on its own, you can add whatever mix-ins you fancy to make an endless possibility of quinoa salads.
Here are a few other ideas to mix in to your quinoa salad:
- broccoli, cashew nuts and soy sauce (for an Asian-style quinoa salad)
- black beans, corn, roasted tomatoes and fresh coriander (for a Mexican-style quinoa salad)
- fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil (for an Italian-style quinoa salad)
Here’s the upshot: choose a few classic ingredients from your cuisine of choice, mix them in with some cooked quinoa, and hey presto! You’ve got yourself a quinoa salad.
Now, given how easy that was, I demand you share your ideas over on the forq app! I mean, I ask very nicely for you to head over to forq and let me know what you’re doing with quinoa that is worthy of mention. Forq is a community of foodies, eager to share, eager to listen. Once you’ve tried mine below, let me know how you changed it up!
Here’s how to make this delicious recipe
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
Toss the vegetables in the oil, and spread them out on a baking tray, in a single layer if possible. Place in the oven, and roast for about 30-40 minutes, tossing them around once halfway. When the vegetables are soft, and just beginning to crisp up on the edges, remove them from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, add the quinoa to a pan of boiling water, and cook for around 15 minutes, until it is soft and the spiral-shaped germ has detached. Drain thoroughly.
If serving the quinoa salad cold, leave the vegetables and quinoa to cool. Then, mix them together, along with the feta cheese, chopped parsley, and fresh lemon juice. Season with plenty of black pepper, and serve.
The final masterpiece
- 100g (~1/2 cup) quinoa
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into 1cm dice
- 1 green pepper, cut into 1cm dice
- 1 medium (~250g) sweet potato, cut into 1cm dice
- 2 tbsp oil
- 100 feta cheese, crumbled (~1/2 cup crumbled)
- small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Black pepper
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Who’s Cooking Today
Becca Pusey is a freelance recipe developer and food writer based in Hertfordshire, UK. She blogs over at Amuse Your Bouche, where she shares her favourite simple vegetarian recipes using everyday ingredients. She aims to show that vegetarian food can be just as easy to make, just as satisfying, and just as tasty as any meat dish. Oh, and she likes cheese, a lot.
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