Whenever my friend Zelda and I get together to cook dinner, we always have a similar conversation that goes something like this (and almost always results in us making a quinoa bowl):
Me: What are you eating/not eating these days?
Zelda: Anything that’s vegan, gluten free and corn free.
Me: Let’s do something with quinoa and veggies. What veggies do you have?
Zelda: I’ll let you know when I get my farm share later this week.
Me: Great! I’ll bring quinoa and whatever veggies I have in my fridge.
While this conversation has several variations depending on what each of us is/isn’t eating and what we have in the way of ingredients, it generally winds up being a vegetable feast.
This most recent time was no different. Zelda’s farm share gave her tons of carrots including some super pretty purple ones, along with watermelon radishes and spinach. The day before I went to Zelda’s happened to be the first day this winter that I saw blood oranges at Trader Joe’s, which was very exciting seeing as I had been waiting for them to appear all winter. I brought a couple plus quinoa and the end of a bag of cauliflower.
This recipe may seem intimidating because of the length of the ingredient list but it’s definitely adaptable to whatever produce you happen to have in the house, although I’m partial to the mix of root veggies and citrus.
Winter Quinoa Bowl with Root Vegetables and Blood Orange
Makes 2 main course servings or 4 side servings
3/4 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced into thin slices, with a few reserved for garnish (we used 2 orange carrots and 1 purple carrot)
1 cup cauliflower pieces
handful of spinach or other leafy green
1 watermelon radish, chopped
2 blood oranges, cut into chunks
juice of half a lemon
3 tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Heat 2 tbs. olive oil in a pan on medium-low heat. After a minute, add the onion and a pinch of salt.
2. When the onion is starting to soften and brown, about 10 minutes, add the carrot slices. Continue to cook until carrots begin to soften and then add the cauliflower.
3. Cook the mixture until all of the veggies are fairly soft and brown. Add the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa and sautéed veggies. Add blood orange chunks, lemon juice, and the remaining tbs. of olive oil and mix.
5. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste and top with the raw carrot slices and watermelon radish pieces. Enjoy!