This eggplant quinoa dish is a full of healthy, Mediterranean inspired ingredients! It’s made with tender, roasted eggplant, white beans, and peppers, and it’s dressed in a sweet and tangy balsamic vinaigrette.
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.
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!
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This was very good. I added chopped baby spinach and roasted delicata squash. I forgot the beans but will add them next time!
Always looking for new recipes for quinoa especially since my wife was just diagnosed with a lot of food allergies. This is looking good. Thanks!
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!
not sure why I showed up as anonymous 🙂
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!
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.
I’ve never heard that coconut oil is bad for your health – a lot of women who suffer from PCOS swear by it as a source of essential fatty acids, and as a key ingredient in the reversal of their symptoms, if that’s any use?
Thank you, that’s interesting.
Not that it is always correct but the Wikipedia page refers several sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_oil#Health but it depend the way you use it.
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..)?
This meal looks great !
I would love to add mushrooms into the mix!
Looking forward to tomorrows post!
This looks wonderful! Quinoa and/or quick salads using what I have on hand with blender dressings are regular quick meals for me.