Roast Potato and Asparagus Quinoa Salad

So no-one will shut up about quinoa. You pronounced it phonetically at a party once and you had to avoid everyone that heard you for the next three months, lest the ‘It’s KEEN-WA!!!’ brigade give you another public lashing.

I dig it. It’s basically weird looking rice. Why do you need it – it took you 15yrs to stop burning rice, now I want you to boil something else that’s awkward and probably high-maintenance?

Yes. And now I will tell you why you should, and why it’s  worth it, and why you need it in your life.

1. Tastes good, easy to cook, not expensive, full of protein, not a grain.

Done.

Now let’s look at the recipe. I call this:

EASY MEAL THAT’S TOTALLY HEALTH FOOD (and at a stretch could be called a salad) BUT IS STILL FULL OF ROAST POTATOES.

All my recipes are 5 steps or less. Get your counting hand out..

1. Chop up 5-6 potatoes (no need to peel) into small cubes, coat in a healthy oil with a high smoke point (I like rice bran) with a little salt, tonne of pepper and a generous teaspoon of rosemary, and fan-bake for 30mins (or until brown and crispy-edged) at 200C.

2. While the potatoes are in, put a cup of quinoa in a pot with 2 cups of cold water, bring it to the boil then turn down to low and leave simmering with the lid on for 15mins (if it’s ready it should look puffed up, cute and fluffy-dry). Any colour quinoa is fine – they sell all 3 colours mixed now!

3. Chop up a family-salad size bag of spinach or kale (or better – spinach and kale mix!) and chuck it in a big pot (I use a stock pot, but really any mammoth mixing bowl would do) and slather it with good quality olive oil.

4. Sautee your choice of green veges in a pan with 4-5 cloves of finely minced garlic. If it’s asparagus or greenbeans, only have them in the pan for a few mins – they should still be brightly coloured, sweet and crunchy when they come out. Almost anything works. I personally found brocolli a little strange but maybe I over-roasted it.

5. Chuck all the ingredients in the pot on top of the spinach, so that the heat causes it to wilt nicely. Dress it all with 4-5 capfuls of balsamic vinegar (or soy sauce if you don’t vibe with vinegar), stir thoroughly and serve.

Sod all effort, major flavour and crazy good for you. Like I said, it’s almost salad for crying out loud.

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