Vegetable and Tahini Quinoa

This is such a fantastic summer salad and it’s a great option if you’re preparing food for lots of people. It’s colourful and light but has so much plant protein it will fill you up and fuel your body. The mixture of quinoa, roasted squash and raw, crunchy salad all come together to create a great dish. Every mouthful is bursting with flavour! This is what I served last week when it was my birthday, providing a plant-based dish which can be enjoyed alone or added to meaty options. It’s really easy to make such a big batch of this either to feed many or to prepare for the coming days. I loved pairing the leftovers with some green salad leaves and any other bits of salad I found in the fridge.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s certainly not strict. I chose the vegetables that I love to go with it but you can mix this up to suit your own taste. I find that it’s nice to have something roasted so either butternut squash or sweet potato, paired with fresh colourful raw veg as well as something richer like sun-dried tomatoes or olives. Finally, the addition of sweet raisins and earthy pine nuts just turns the whole thing into something really special.

Here are the ingredients I used to fill one large serving bowl:

2 c Quinoa
2 Butternut Squash
10 Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 Large Pepper
4 Large Carrots
2 handfuls Raisins
1 handful Pine Nuts
Mixed Herbs
5 tbsp Tahini
5 tbsp Olive Oil
2-3 Limes
Salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Cut the butternut squash into cubes, place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and dried herbs. Meanwhile, rinse the quiona until the water runs clear and boil in double the amount of water and another sprinkling of mixed herbs. This will need to cook for about 12 minutes until all the water and herbs have been absorbed by the grain. While these cook, you can slice the pepper and sun-dried tomatoes into small chunks, grate the carrots and put the raisins in hot water so they plump up and become extra juicy. When the quinoa has finished cooking, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before stirring in the dressing of the tahini, olive oil, the juice of the limes and a shake of salt. Stir in the grated carrot then add in the sliced sun-dried tomatoes, pepper, butternut squash, drained raisins and pine nuts.

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