A great meal for a week-night dinner, this dish requires minimal prep but offers a big taste with great healthy and fresh ingredients. These made awesome leftovers as well served cold with the chicken diced in the salad, yum! The flavours also mingled a lot better after sitting for a night, so it would be a great salad to bring to a potluck.
Warm Zucchini Quinoa Salad
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced thinly
1/2 small red onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 jalapeño, sliced thinly (completely optional, still great without it!)
1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa, I used a mix of regular and black quinoa
2 cups liquid, could be stock or water or a mix of the two
1 spring thyme and 1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
In small saucepan, bring 2 cups of liquid to a boil with salt and pepper. Add thyme, bay leaf and quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer undisturbed for 15-18 minutes. Remove from heat once all liquid as been absorbed and let sit for additional 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
Meanwhile heat oil in frying pan until hot. Add zuchinni, bell pepper, onion and jalapeño and fry until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Prep vinaigrette by combining lemon juice, salt and pepper, olive oil and garlic.
Once quinoa is cooked, combine vinaigrette, veggies with basil, pistachios and spinach, gently tossing. Enjoy or chill in refrigerator for a cold more portable salad.