Mediterranean quinoa

As autumn approaches and the sunny South African days become more brisk, heartier and more filling meals feature more on the lunch and supper menu. This dish clings to the last rays of summer by including bountiful vegetables coated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roasted to succulent perfection. Adding quinoa, a veritable superfood, boosts the protein in this vegan dish. To keep this dish vegan it is served with herby falafels here (recipe coming soon), but it can also be served with grilled chicken or fish or topped with a fried egg.

Quinoa
± 4 servings

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tsp vegetable stock powder

Roasted Mediterranean vegetables
± 4 servings

6 small zucchini/courgette
3 small multi-coloured peppers
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
2 small red onions
Olive oil, for coating
Black pepper, to taste
2 sprigs of rosemary

Marinated mushrooms

1 punnet brown mushrooms
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp oregano
Black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste

1 Jar grilled artichokes, optional
20 kalamata olives, optional

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Cut all the vegetables into large chunks (keep mushrooms separate), coat with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Add rosemary, pepper to taste and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the chopped mushrooms, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and oregano in a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Combine quinoa, water and stock powder in a pot. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Once the water is absorbed, remove from heat and leave covered for another 15 minutes. Steaming the quinoa in this way allows for fluffy seeds.

After the vegetables have roasted for 30 minutes, add the mushrooms and roast for a further 15 minutes.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork and add the roasted vegetables. At this stage marinated artichokes and olives can be added if desired. The flavours will intensify with standing; making the dish even more delicious for lunch the next day.

Serve with herbed falafel or grilled chicken. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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