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If you need an easy, healthy dish, especially after all the goodies eaten over the holidays, this is a great dish that’s healthy and easy!
First of all, this delicious quinoa dish can be made with so many variations. Depending on what’s seasonally available and your own personal preferences, you can use Japanese eggplants, purple onions, cubes of sweet potato or butternut squash – anything goes!
The other reason why I like this dish so much is that there are so many time saving shortcuts that you can take. You can grill your veggies on a bbq grill or in the oven! You can use leftover roasted veggies. You can also use quinoa that was previously cooked (remember my tip about freezing cooked quinoa?). Although lentils are easy to make, if time isn’t on your side, go ahead and use canned lentils – rinse them first. So you see, there are tons of options!
I’d love to hear from you! What other grilled veggies would you add to this pilaf?
Please feel free to share your ideas and tips in the comments below:)
Arrange the oven racks in the middle and one lower position and preheat the oven to 450°F.
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Toss the chunks of zucchini with 1/2-1 tbs. of olive oil, 1/2-1 tbs. balsamic vinegar and 1 minced garlic clove; then spread in a single layer on one of the baking sheets. Toss the eggplant chunks with 1/2-1 tbs. of olive oil, 1/2-1 tbs. balsamic vinegar and 1 minced garlic clove; then spread in a single layer on one of the baking sheets. Toss the onions and peppers with 1/2-1 tbs. of olive oil, 1/2-1 tbs. balsamic vinegar and 1 minced garlic clove; then spread in a single layer on one of the baking sheets. The amount of olive oil depends on how much vegetables you use, I tend to add extra if I have it in my fridge.
Place the baking sheets with the zucchini and eggplant on the bottom rack of the oven, and the peppers/ onion combination on the middle rack. Roast for 20 minutes; flip the vegetables on all baking sheets and then roast for another 20-25 minutes until browned
Meanwhile, place the rinsed lentils in a medium saucepan and fill the pan 3/4 of the way with water. Cover the pan and once it starts to boil, remove the cover and reduce the heat to medium. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender, but not mushy. When done, drain the lentils in a fine meshed sieve.
Prepare the quinoa: Bring the 1 1/4 cups of water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 12 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered pot on the stove for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
Add the cooked quinoa and lentils together and add 1 tbs. of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and a handful of fresh chopped basil.
Put the lentil/quinoa pilaf on a platter and top with grilled vegetables! Enjoy!!