My kind of food prep is a super easy lunch + dinner recipe that you can enjoy as leftovers! I have made various versions of this one over the years and love that it is so adaptable to the fresh (and pantry) ingredients you happen to have on hand in the house and garden. Make sure you check out the cooks notes at the bottom of this post for suggested swaps and additions! This recipe uses cooked chickpeas. If you want to know how to prepare these yourself rather than from a can you can check out my post here and follow the steps until you use them in a hummus!
Serves 4 (or 8 as a side dish) Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1hr minutes Difficulty: easy
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed & drained well 1 red capsicum, diced and seeds removed 1.5 kg (approx 8 cups) chopped veggies of choice (I used zucchini,sweet potato, pumpkin and carrot ) 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional) 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon good quality salt 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed & drained well 1 cup kalamata or black olives, pitted and sliced 1 cup (approx) fresh basil, roughly chopped
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius, fan forced. 200 for conventional ovens.
Peel, de-seed and dice your veggies into 2-3 cm pieces. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and spread your veggies out over the trays. Coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil (if using), garlic powder and salt and place in the oven to roast for 60 minutes minutes. Stirring half way through.
In a medium saucepan, add your rinsed and drained quinoa and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to the boil and simmer until all water is absorbed. Once cooked. stir every now and then as it cools.
Once the quinoa and roast veggies are cooked, set aside to cool.
Chop your capsicum and basil.
In a large mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients including the remaining olive oil and mix well to combine.
Serving suggestion: Serve with a generous amount of home made hummus (recipe in WHOLE + HOME by Natural Harry ) or cheesy tahini sauce (recipe WHOLE by Natural Harry) and pickled red onion (recipe in WHOLE by Natural Harry ) Or just as is.
Since this recipe makes a really large amount I really like to store it in the fridge as it makes a delicious and very easily transported lunch the following day. It is also the perfect dish to contribute to a pot luck lunch, dinner or picnic!
Swaps: You can swap the quinoa for so many things you might have on hand. Some of my favourites are: buckwheat, GF pasta, brown rice, wild rice, black rice and cous cous. Barley works well too! The roast veggies are also so interchangeable. I also love eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, and regular potato. The capsicum lends a delicious fresh crunch to this dish but it can be interchanged with fresh sun ripened tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes or even roasted red peppers (capsicum) as well. The basil is such a lovely compliment to this dish and I am a big fan of an abundance of herbs for flavour. You can always swap it out with a nice big bunch of parsley. Delicious! Olives are a yummy salty addition to this salad. You could swap them out for some avocado, artichokes, pickled onion, sun dried tomatoes or any pickled veg! Chickpeas are a great hearty, plant-protein rich component to this dish. You can swap these out for the equivalent amount of cooked lentils, butter beans, cannelloni beans or kidney beans. I have also tried cooked black beans in this dish before.
Additions: If you have any of these on hand they make a very tasty addition to this salad: Artichoke hearts Coconut aminos Dash of fresh lemon juice