My favorite “healthy” food? Easy. Roasted or grilled vegetables. I love them so much that it never SEEMS like healthy eating to me when I’m eating them. I love them best when they have just the right consistency – just tender enough, but still on the crisp side of tender (mushy vegetables are a no-go for me). Just the right amount of cooked so they have that great slightly-sweet roasted flavor while allowing the flavor of the vegetable itself to shine through.
While I’m happy to eat a plate of roasted vegetables with just a bit of salt and pepper, when it comes to dinner time, I like to turn them into a more substantial salad. Here, I’ve laid some mixed greens on a big plate and arranged my roasted veggies on top. A big spoonful of cooked quinoa adds protein and keeps me full. For a little sweetness, I sprinkled on a bit of NatureBox Cranberry Medley, which is a combination of dried blueberries and cranberries flavored with pomegranate and acai.
I also created a new salad dressing that I’ve instantly fallen in love with. It’s called “creamy” walnut dressing, but really, there’s no dairy at all. The emulsification of walnuts, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey and olive oil is what gives this tangy dressing a creamy consistency. Make a double batch of it and keep it in the fridge for up to a week – it’s the perfect accompaniment for any vegetable dish or salad!
Roasted Vegetable & Quinoa Salad with Creamy Walnut Dressing
For the Salad:
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 6 small carrots, halved lengthwise
- 2 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
- 2 yellow bell peppers, quartered and seeded
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 package (5 ounces) spring mix
- 1/4 cup Naturebox Cranberry Medley
For the Creamy Walnut Dressing:
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare quinoa on stovetop according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, lightly spray 2 rimmed baking pans with cooking spray. Divide carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers and onion between pans. Lightly spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and roast 12 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
- Make the Creamy Walnut Dressing: In food processor fitted with knife blade attachment, process walnuts, oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, divide spring mix between 4 plates. Divide quinoa, roasted vegetables and Cranberry Medley over greens. Serve with Creamy Walnut Dressing.
I originally developed this recipe for the NatureBox blog.
Disclaimer: This post is part of an ongoing relationship I have with NatureBox for recipe development. Posts like this help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.