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Roasted Veggie and Quinoa Salad

August 9, 2012

We put together an impromptu picnic with friends to follow a trip to the museum last weekend. Run out to the store? Who me? NO!

Look in the fridge and pantry? Yes!

Sitting in the fridge just waiting to come to the rescue

Roasted veggies… hurray!

I believe in using what I’ve got. Leftovers?? Heck no, they’re holdovers. Just sitting in the fridge, patiently holding on and waiting for you to serve them in a different way to create a whole new dish.

There’s a kind of stigma attached to the word leftovers.

It’s like your first-grade teacher telling your new second-grade teacher that you whisper too much in class. I don’t appreciate that label. I mean, you wouldn’t appreciate that label. It carries a kind of expectation, a semi- stigma, if you will.

Just like leftovers. Sounds a little less-than. A notch lower than when eaten on the first day.

Let’s empower those extra servings of delicious food that you prepared that’s sitting inside your fridge. Hurray for holdovers! Maybe they can even get their own reality show! Makeovers for Holdovers! I need an agent… is the contract ready for me to sign yet?
Oh, there goes my imagination running off on me again. I’ve heard that’s a very healthy thing so I won’t apologize.

When re-tooling holdovers, I like to consider a few elements:

  • Colors – what colors would go well together? Eye appeal boosts appetite.
  • Taste – what can I do to up the flavor quotient? Go-to response: garlic, fresh herbs, lemon juice.
  • Texture – do you want smooth or something with crunch? Applies to many many things beyond peanut butter)
  • and last but not least, Nutritional Value. If you have just a bit of meat or chicken or veggies in that holding pattern in your fridge, adding beans does a lot to boost the protein level. Consider garbanzos, cannellini beans, black beans, kidney beans, edamame (soy beans) or lentils. And if you’ve got veggies, add a grain. Have a grain? Add veggies. Straightforward stuff.

I just found these little grape tomatoes hanging out outside on the vine (the vine’s a bit on the scrawny side, but it’s a vine nonetheless). I sliced them in half lengthwise and added them to the salad right after I took the pics and before we headed out the door. A mix of roasted and fresh veggies adds more pizzazz to an already good thing.

Roasted Veggie and Quinoa Salad


1 c. assorted roasted veggies (I used Japanese eggplant, striped squash, onion and red peppers)

1 c. cooked quinoa

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 T. extra virgin olive oil (the better the quality, the better the flavor)

1 c. canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 scallion (green onion), thinly sliced

2 T. fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 T. fresh basil, chopped (can substitute with cilantro or dill)

salt & pepper

Optional additions: 2-3 oz. feta or goat cheese, 2 T. toasted pine nuts, a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise in half, 1 clove freshly minced garlic, 1 c. chopped fresh kale or spinach


Cook quinoa according to package directions. I usually cook more than I need (holdovers!). In this case I used 1 c. quinoa to 2 c. liquid (half broth and half water) and used a little more than half the cooked quinoa. Bring to boil and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Then remove from heat and let all liquid absorb. Fluff with fork and transfer the quinoa you’re using to mixing bowl.

Cut up roasted vegetables into a bite-sized dice and add to quinoa. Add sliced green onions.

Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over the quinoa and veggies. Add fresh herbs, salt and pepper and toss lightly. Adjust seasonings and away we go!

Serves about 4 – delicious at room temperature.

bb note: If you’d like more info on roasting vegetables, check out an earlier post on a roasted cauliflower medley by clicking here.


From → Mains, Sides, Veggies

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  1. Quinoa with Broccoli and Lemon | bumbleberry breeze

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