I get a lot of requests for healthy meals here on the blog, and I think
mortality lower metabolisms are setting in for everyone around me because we are all getting old. Everyone is on a health kick or prescriptions AND a health kick. At the very least, we need an antidote to all the festivities and fast food our instant gratification culture likes us to marinate in. To be clear, I am not pointing any fingers here. I am currently eating the most delicious left over birthday cake my baker friend made for my daughter’s birthday as I type (thanks, Martha!). And it was one of three cakes served over her birthday week. Obviously I am a part of that culture.
But I still need an antidote. And that is where P90X comes in. For all you P90X grads, you may be wondering why I am eating birthday cake if I am on the low-carb, high protein P90X diet? And my answer to you is because it has vanilla flecks in the frosting and salty butter in the cake and, well, it is the best thing I have ever eaten. But it is a small piece. I balance. I only eat delicious carbs.
This recipe for Balsalmic Quinoa with Roasted Veggies helps me balance. It is a pretty quick dinner, and conveniently the veggies roast in the same oven as a marinated pork loin, since they both cook at 400 degrees.
While they roast, you cook some quinoa on the stove in chicken broth instead of water for more flavor. Most types cook for only 15 minutes.
I love quinoa, and I think of it as a blank canvas. You can really take any flavor profile to it and make a meal. Mediterranean? Add feta and olives and sun dried tomatoes and artichokes. Asian? Add slices of steamed carrots and bok choy and scallions. Italian? I just take a jar of pesto and stir it in with mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes and basil. And adding chicken to any of these is delicious and doubles your protein because (how many times have you heard this in the last few years??) quinoa is a grain and a protein.
But the vehicle for this flavor is always the dressing. That Asian quinoa is going to be amazing with a ginger/garlic/lemongrass sirachi dressing. And the Mediterranean one needs some red wine vinegar pucker, right?
This dish is made with a crazy good balsalmic vinegrette that is so simple. Garlic, Dijion, Balsalmic and Olive Oil with a little salt and pepper. Delicious. Not Martha-cake delicious, but still pretty good.
Here’s to all your lovely hearts out there! xoxo Katie
Quinoa with Roasted Veggies and Balsamic Vinaigrette
¼ c. balsalmic vinegar
1 T. chopped garlic
1 T. Dijion mustard (optional)
1/2 t. salt
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
½ c. good olive oil
4 cups of vegetables (zucchini, squash, carrots, eggplant, onions, asparagus, sweet potato, turnips, parsnips, brussel sprouts are all delicious)
Whisk all the ingredients together.
2 cups quinoa, prepared according to package, using Chicken Broth in place of water
4 cups vegetables, tossed with 2 T. olive oil and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Roast veggies at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk dressing, then gently toss with quinoa and vegetables.