Quinoa with Roasted Eggplant, Red Peppers & Balsamic Vinaigrette
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My friend Anne and I have a new tradition called “ingredient potlucks.” It involves meeting up after work, comparing notes about what each of us has in the fridge, and coming up with a meal that is quick, healthy, and really tasty. Last time we did this, we came up with a delicious sweet potato, brown rice, lentil and hemp salad with hemp oil and a mustardy glaze. Last Thursday, we weren’t even sure we could do an ingredient potluck, because we were both running a little short on groceries. That said, necessity is the mother of invention, and I think you’ll be impressed with our final creation: a simple-yet-flavorful mixture of quinoa with roasted eggplant, red peppers, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Earlier that week, I had made my kale salad with apples, raisins, and creamy curried dressing, which I posted yesterday. Since I had more kale on hand, and more carrots, and one more apple, and some raisins, I decided to make it again. I was out of walnuts for the dressing, though, so I used cashews, and realized that it’s just as good with cashews, and a little more neutral-tasting. When I got to Anne’s, she had beets to spare, so we added those to the salad. What a great addition they were!

For our entrée, we did something similar to what we had done last time: a mish mosh of grains and legumes, spruced up with a good vinaigrette. Anne had quinoa and red peppers; I had some eggplant I’d grilled up and had yet to use.

Boom.

A white ceramic bowl with a brown rim has been filled with roasted eggplant pepper quinoa. A small bowl of kale peeks out in the background.
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Eggplant Pepper Quinoa

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Along with the salad, this was so tasty. Its heartiness complimented the crispy kale well! Of course, you don’t have to use roasted eggplant as your vegetable of choice. Zucchini, broccoli, summer squash, mushrooms, and many other vegetables would work nicely here.

Next time you’re meeting up with a friend, you might want to consider an ingredient potluck, too! It’s a really fun way to pool together resources, improvise, and challenge yourself to creating something unexpected.

Tomorrow, I have a green recovery story for you that took the author a month and a half to write and send to me. The thoughtfulness and sincerity she poured into the piece is evident, and I hope you’ll all enjoy it!

xo

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Categories: Gluten Free, Main Dishes

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    12 Comments
  1. This looks delicious. I’ve been using ATK method of using the microwave first for the eggplant. I slice circles about 3/4” thick, put on a plate lined with a paper towel & cover with another paper towel, put in microwave for about 2 to 2 1/2 min, cool snd cut into cubes. Then pan fry in small amount of shallot infused oil in a non stick pan & it’s ready to enjoy. No salting of the eggplant & waiting for it to soften!

  2. That’s great Gena- it’s funny- the other day I was thinking how there should be meet-up potlucks where everyone brings a few ingredients they have hanging around, and invents a meal together! My thought process was catalyzed by having friends over on Rosh Hashanah and asking each person to bring a piece of fruit- we created a beautiful mandala out of fruit slices together!

  3. Gena-have you ever tried roasting the beans during the last, say, 20 minutes of the roasting of the veggies and then throwing that all in with the grain? It makes the beans crunchy and would give the whole salad an awesome texture . . . I think . . . I haven’t done it yet, but did a similar thing last night with a roasted veggies and beans salad. I think it would work really well in a grain salad, and I happen to have two beautiful eggplants in my fridge right now. Gonna have to try it out tonight!

  4. I have a question, I thought Coconut oil was bad for your health because of the high level of saturated fat. I see it in recipes and usually replace it but I would like your opinion on it.

  5. Ooh, mouthwatering goodness Gena. I know this sounds freaky. But, I’m pretty sure you & I have twin taste buds. I just love everything you make & know it’s right up my alley (in fact, I’m pretty sure I eat something like this meal several times a week).

    Also–you have long hair! I’m so used to seeing your profile pic below with short, I never thought that it might be long now. You’ve got gorgeous, glowing skin, my dear-ever considered a career as a Neutrogena model (although, not sure if they’re cruelty-free, so maybe not..)?