Oven Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

by brookefiore

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Like many, I often struggle with cooking during the week when I’m also working. I’ve found that being able to do some preparation on the weekend is a big help but this still isn’t enough. As much as a planner as I am, I can’t seem to plan out more than one or two meals ahead of time.

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I know I’m not alone when it comes to letting my mood and unforeseen obstacles/commitments dictate my food choices (within reason). With all of this being said, I manage to maintain healthy, wholesome choices by keeping certain staples on hand. One of those staples is quinoa. With a combination of fiber and complete protein, it’s hard to argue with its nutritious profile.

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So the other night while I made a simple black bean and spinach quesadilla for dinner I also took the opportunity to make some quinoa. I wasn’t sure just what I would do with it for the remainder of the week but I knew that the simple step of stove top cooking is often a barrier, especially when it comes to last minute meal prep.

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With the quinoa stored in the fridge, I was able to effortlessly incorporate it into lunches and dinners, some planned and some literally tossed together.

Though the sunny afternoons are proving to bring some spring-like warmth, I was still looking for something a bit warmer to add on my plate. I accomplished this in to ways: oven roasted carrots and cheesy quinoa.

There isn’t really a recipe here, so feel free to add amounts as desired and also, substitute different types of nuts or cheese.

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Oven Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad

Start by washing, peeling and slicing some carrots into strips. Spray with a bit of nonstick cooking spray and roast in the oven at 400F for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, make a nice bed of greens on your plate, I used a mix of spring mix lettuce and baby spinach. Next, microwave a desired amount of cooked quinoa for about 45 seconds. Add in cheese (I used Gorgonzola), nuts (or sunflower seeds in my case), a drizzle of olive oil and honey and give half of a lemon a good squeeze in there too. Mix well and add quinoa mixture to salad greens. Toss a few of the carrot tops in there too if you wish. Top with roasted carrots. No dressing is required as the quinoa mixture brings a nice aspect of moisture. Enjoy!

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