Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Vegetable Medley

Quinoa with Butternut Squash

Simple is good. SO good!

But that’s only part of the reason I’m loving quinoa for easy weeknight meals these days. Quinoa has great texture and a wonderful nutty flavor. It’s loaded with protein, and a nice source of minerals like iron and calcium. It’s considered by many to be a superfood because it contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health. Plus it’s naturally high in fiber and it’s perfect for anyone sensitive to gluten.

And did I say it cooks fast? But speed is just the beginning with quinoa. Here’s the thing…with steamed or roasted vegetables and a garnish of toasted almonds or fresh herbs, this nutritious bowl of quinoa goes from just easy to completely delicious and truly satisfying…because it’s oh-so-good!

I love to roast colorful butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots, and always, always with sliced sweet onions! But feel very fine about using whichever vegetables you have on hand. They’re all good.

Here’s the drill. First slide a roasting pan into a hot oven, filled with your favorites. Roast until tender.

While the vegetables roast, prepare the quinoa, which by the way, works beautifully in a rice cooker (I use one made by Zojirushi and love it). Just push that start button for fluffy, perfectly cooked quinoa every time. No worries if you don’t have a rice cooker. Instead, steam quinoa on the stove as you would rice, one part quinoa to two parts water.

While your quinoa steams, finish the more delicate vegetables separately. These quick-cook vegetables (like zucchini, yellow summer squash, bell peppers, or broccoli) can be pan sautéed, steamed, or even roasted briefly in the oven.

Then just toss everything together and enjoy your creation!

QUINOA BOWL WITH ROASTED VEGETABLE MEDLEY

4 cups butternut squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 sweet onion, sliced
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
dash of Creole Seasoning
1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
3 cups of water
4 cups of sliced broccoli (or other fresh vegetables like zucchini or yellow squash)
dash of water to pan sauté
salt and pepper or lemon juice, to taste (optional)

Garnish: toasted almonds, and fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Into a nonstick roasting pan, add the butternut squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes, and onion slices. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Creole Seasoning. Add a 1/2 cup of water to the roasting pan, and roast vegetables uncovered until tender, around 20 – 50 minutes depending on the size.

While vegetables are oven-roasting, prepare the quinoa according to package instructions, using 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa to 3 cups of water.

Once the quinoa has been set up to steam, finish the broccoli separately.  Steam or pan-sauté until the florets turn bright green and are tender-crisp. Turn off the heat, and season to taste. Toss all ingredients together.

Garnish (if desired) and serve immediately.

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