Seasonal Winter Vegetables with Red Quinoa

This combination of sweet vegetables with pungent pesto is great for a nutritious and delicious grain and vegetable bowl. I found this one while sifting through a number of recipes under the Health & Nutrition section of the NY Times! The quinoa is the protein source for this meal, offering all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein to boot! The winter veggies are complex carbs, offering a number of necessary micronutrients and sustained energy for the colder months.  Yummy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound winter squash, peeled and cut in 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled, quartered and cut in 2-inch lengths
  • 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the stem
  • 1/2 pound turnips, peeled and cut in wedges
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup pesto
DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil one or two sheet pans or baking dishes large enough to fit all of the vegetables in a single layer. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Spread the vegetables in an even layer on the prepared pan. Place in the top third of the oven and bake 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees and continue to bake until the vegetables are lightly browned and tender all the way through when pierced with a knife, 10 to 20 minutes.

2. While the vegetables are in the oven, cook the quinoa. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. Bring 3 cups water or stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add salt to taste (1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon) and the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and translucent, and each grain displays a little thread. Drain through a strainer and return the quinoa to the pan. Cover the pan with a clean dish towel, replace the lid and allow the quinoa to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes or longer.

3. When the vegetables are tender, remove from the heat and transfer back to the bowl. Add the pesto and stir together. Serve over quinoa.

Yield: Serves 6

Advance preparation: The vegetables can hold for a few hours once roasted, but don’t toss with the pesto until you reheat them in a medium oven. The quinoa will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the oven, on top of the stove, or in the microwave.

Nutritional information per serving: 261 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 2 milligrams cholesterol; 32 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 88 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 8 grams protein

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