Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quinoa with Roasted Root Vegetables

I haven't expressed my gratitude in a while on this blog. Today I am feeling incredibly grateful things are slowing down for a change. There are a few extra things at school I've finished up, meetings cancelled, and fewer appointments to rush off to lately. This has given me extra time to work out in the evenings. I'm grateful I have been able to work out this week because it makes me feel good. I'm grateful I feel good because I have more energy to help those around me feel better. Today we had a "store" where our students could purchase Christmas gifts for their families. All items were $1. Not every family has a dollar to spare, so I gave some of my students who did not have money a dollar so they could purchase something and feel good. I even got to take one student, who I am quite fond of in preschool (I don't teach preschool, but we've connected) shopping and bought him a gift. A toy just for him. Seeing his little face so happy just made so grateful for today.

Okay, now that I have all of that joy expressed, here is a really awesome recipe you will be grateful for if you try it. You can even roast the vegetables ahead of time before tossing it all together with the light and tangy vinaigrette.

The Bear teased me again about being on the kale kick. I had to laugh, but it is just so good right now! Here, I've taken plain and simple quinoa and tossed it together with some lovely seasonal vegetables. I took a few shortcuts by purchasing already chopped butternut squash and roasting the veg ahead of time. Feel free to serve as a vegetarian main for only 6 Weight Watcher's points per serving. It is wonderful and filling!

Quinoa with Roasted Root Vegetables
Makes 4 servings, 6 Weight Watcher's points
per serving

1 cup dried quinoa
2 cups water
4 cups chopped butternut squash
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 1/4 inch cubes)
1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (divided)
4 cups kale, hard stems removed and chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil (divided)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
1 clove minced garlic
4 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the squash, fennel, onion, and parsnips onto the sheet. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over the vegetables. Toss lightly to coat all of the vegetables. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables begin to turn golden. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the kale over the vegetables. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the kale begins to wilt a little. Remove from the oven. Set aside.

While the vegetables are roasting. Cook quinoa according to package directions. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining teaspoon olive oil, the apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper until combine. Set aside.

In a large serving bowl, toss the vegetables and quinoa together. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the quinoa mixture. Toss to coat. Top with the Parmesan cheese before serving.

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