Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts and Olives

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts and Kalamata Olives

I substituted quinoa for whole wheat pasta in this tasty salad and it worked just as well, if not better.

It's a salad I made up a long time ago, when we were asked to bring a healthy dish to pass in a class we were taking at Healthworks.
Quinoa is a grain grown in Bolivia in the Andes of South America.  It is considered an ancient grain, treasured by the Incas, who considered it "mother grain."  Today it is popular because it is has great nutritutional value.  It has 6 grams of protein in 1/4 cup.

While it is cooking it smells a little like popcorn.  It is light and fluffy, more like couscous than rice.  It is supereasy to cook.  Takes only 15 minutes, once it comes to a boil.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts and Kalamata Olives

1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite size florets
garlic powder
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 can artichoke hearts, in water or brine, well drained and quartered
1/2 pint of ripe, cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup drained, pitted Kalamata olives, cut in two
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 T. good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 -1/2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup liquid (water, or chicken stock, or vegetable stock)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  On a heavy baking sheet, place broccoli florets in one layer.  Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes, stirring half way.  Remove and let cool on pan.
Cook quinoa per package instructions.  Rinse until water runs clear.

Add 1 1/2 cups liquid (I used 1/2 chicken stock 1/2 water) and to quinoa in small pan, and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
When done, season with salt and pepper and some garlic powder, fluff well, cover and let sit until ready to assemble your salad.
In a large salad bowl, cut tomatoes and place in bottom of bowl.  Ditto for artichoke hearts, and Kalamata olives.

Mix up the vinaigrette in a small bowl.
Toast pine nuts.
Place quinoa and broccoli on top.  Pour over the vinaigrette.  And mix well.
Scatter the toasted pine nuts on top.

Serve warm, or at room temperature.

B



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