Quinoa is a near perfect food, and an easy grain to fold into almost any soup, salad, casserole, or main dish. This quick fall salad braises instead of roasts your winter vegetables, without sacrificing that golden flavor. I was treated to a similar dish the other night at a friends how, but she used roasted turnips, onions, rutabaga, sweet potato, and garlic – delicious! Many different combinations of fall / winter vegetables can be delicious in this dish. Just keep in mind their cooking times!
Fall Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables
1 cup quinoa
1 T. Olive Oil
2. Tbs. unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
4 ounces extra-firm or high-protien tofu
1 cup cremini mushrooms
1 small butternut squash
fresh sage leaves
1 cup finely sliced kale
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
salt and pepper
garnish with chopped nuts or seeds, if you wish
Put 1 cup on quinoa in a medium saucepan with 2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the “tails” on the quinoa appear (about 25 minutes).
Meanwhile, peel and dice into one-half inch cubes 1 small (orn on-half of a large) butternut squash. Place the dice in a dish with a bit of water and microwave until “al-dente” (about 5 mintues).
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter. Add 4 ounces of finely diced, extra firm tofu and fry until it begins to crisp. Lower the heat, and Add 3 cloves chopped garlic and 1 small sliced onion, cooking on medium-low until soft. Add the mushrooms, raising the heat to medium-high, stir frequently until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the squash dice, and 6 -8 sliced fresh sage leaves, turning every few minutes until the squash starts to brown .When all the vegetables are deep golden, addthe kale, and stir. Add the fresh cranberries and a generous splash of red wine, then cover the saucepan. The sugars from the wine and the cranberries with caramelize the vegetables. Sprinkle the vegetables generously with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the roasted vegetables and either cheese (feta is good, or gorgonzola) or a vegan cheese sauce.