Exquisite Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables Salad

Exquisite Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables Salad

This beautifully crafted dish offers a nutritious and vibrant mix of flavors and textures. The fluffy quinoa acts as a perfect base, while the assorted roasted vegetables provide a satisfying touch of sweetness and earthiness. When combined with a zesty dressing, this salad becomes a delightful and wholesome meal option that can be enjoyed warm or cold.

Ingredients:
– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 cups water or vegetable broth
– 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
– 1 red bell pepper, chopped
– 1 zucchini, chopped
– 1 red onion, sliced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
– 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Dressing:
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
– 1 teaspoon honey
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. **Prepare the Quinoa**: Rinse the quinoa under cold water. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

2. **Roast the Vegetables**: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the diced sweet potato, chopped red bell pepper, zucchini, and sliced red onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, ground cumin, and smoked paprika. Toss to coat evenly. Roast in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized, tossing halfway through.

3. **Prepare the Dressing**: While the vegetables are roasting, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until well combined.

4. **Combine the Ingredients**: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables, and chopped parsley. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss to combine thoroughly.

5. **Serve**: Transfer the salad to a serving dish and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese if using. Serve immediately for a warm salad or refrigerate for 30 minutes to enjoy it cold.

Enjoy the colorful and flavorful Exquisite Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables Salad as a main course or a hearty side dish.