I'm always looking for a good option for meatless Monday, and usually it involves beans of some sort and, often, quinoa. To the point that there might be a bit of grumbling about 'why do we ALWAYS have to eat quinoa'... You probably know the drill.
The thing is, quinoa is really tasty, and because it has a very neutral flavor, it can be used in a lot of different dishes. More, in grain salads, it also holds its shape and doesn't get soggy. A big plus in my book.
The recipe has a lot of ingredients, but most of them are spices, and the end result is a perfect salad for dinner, sure, but also a great option to take for lunch.
Black Quinoa and Roasted Carrot Salad
Yield: 6 - 8 servings Ingredients
2 teaspoons sweet paprika 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom Salt Freshly ground black pepper 8 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, and then thinly sliced lengthwise 2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup black quinoa, rinsed 2 cups water 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3/4 cup dried cranberries 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped (note: you can toast them in the oven while the veggies roast, but watch the nuts carefully. At this temp, they will burn quickly)
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together paprika, turmeric, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom and 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Toss the carrots with the onion and 2 tablespoons of the oil on the prepared baking sheet. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mix and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables, and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender. Remove from oven.
In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix and the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 17 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons oil with lemon juice, zest, mustard and remainder of the spice mix; season with salt. Add the quinoa, cranberries, parsley and roasted vegetables and toss well. Serve the salad sprinkled with the toasted walnuts.