I know I’ve been posting a heck of a lot of desserts. I just can’t resist a layered cake slathered in buttercream, or a cupcake piled high with frosting and stuffed with caramel. But then there’s reality. My pants, my heart, and my skin would revolt against me if I ate everything I post. I taste every single thing that I make, but I don’t eat
any most of it. To keep myself from gobbling up all the sweets that are in my house, I keep a lot of flavorful, healthy, nutritious and easy to make dishes in my fridge at all times, so when I get hungry, I reach for those foods rather than the desserts. And this Quinoa Salad with Roasted Peppers has been in heavy rotation around my house these days.
I’ve been riding the quinoa bandwagon for years now. There’s a 90% chance that you can find a bowl of cooked quinoa in my kitchen, and I can say with certainty that there’s always a sack of raw quinoa sitting in my pantry. My love for quinoa stems primarily from it’s nutritional value (It’s one of the only plant-based foods that’s a complete protein. And it’s full of iron, calcium, fiber, and a multitude of other nutrients.)
Quinoa is also incredibly versatile. It pretty much tastes like nothing. Which, on the surface can seem like a negative, but that’s one of the reasons quinoa is a favorite. It pretty much takes on the flavor of whatever you pair with it. That makes quinoa the perfect addition to a flavorful salad like this Quinoa Salad with Roasted Peppers.
This version of quinoa salad has some of of absolute favorite ingredients – roasted peppers, black olives, parsley, feta cheese, chickpeas, and red onions.
This Quinoa Salad with Roasted Peppers not only tastes good, but it tastes even better when it’s made ahead of time. The quinoa and chickpeas absorb the flavors of the dressing as it sits, making it even more flavorful.
Plus, it’s one of those salads where you can add whatever you want to it. I often throw in a handful of greens – spinach or kale. The current version of this Quinoa Salad with Roasted Peppers that’s in my fridge right now has capers instead of black olives (I didn’t have any black olives, and I wanted something sharp and salty in the salad), green onions instead of red onions (I bought a bunch of green onions for another meal, and they didn’t get finished. Instead of letting them wilt, I threw them in the salad.), and goat cheese rather than feta cheese (I used the goat cheese to make a roasted beet salad, and there was a lot left over). And let me tell you, it tastes pretty darn amazing.
So, if you want to try this Quinoa Salad with Roasted Peppers, but your missing an ingredient or two, don’t abandon it! As long as you have the quinoa, roasted peppers, and the ingredients for the dressing, throw whichever vegetables you’ve got at home into the salad. I’m pretty sure it’ll be delicious!
- For the Salad:
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 3 cups water
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas (I use the boxed, unsalted chickpeas from Whole Foods)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- For the Dressing:
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the whole peppers on a baking sheet
- Roast for about 20 minutes, turning the peppers once during the roasting process
- The skin will be blistered and charred. Once the peppers reach this stage, they are ready to be removed from the oven.
- Place the peppers in a bowl, and cover them with a plastic wrap. (Alternately, you can place the cooked peppers in a brown bag, and seal the bag by rolling the top shut.) Allow the peppers to sit and steam to allow the skins to come off easily.
- Peel and seed the peppers and slice them.
- Boil the water. Salt the water.
- Add the quinoa, and allow it to cook until the water has evaporated.
- Place it in a large bowl and allow it to cool.
- Mix oil and the garlic.
- Whisk in the vinegar and lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Add the chickpeas and sliced vegetables to the cooked quinoa.
- Then add the feta and dressing. Toss until well combined.
- Season with salt and pepper.
This post is linked to these awesome parties.