Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Broccoli & Halloumi

Seems like now that we can all pronounce it correctly, we just can’t get enough of quinoa. I know I can’t, and given the demand for this particular recipe, it would appear that I am not alone.

I make this salad about once a week for dinner, and have impressed a few friends of late by busting it out at the odd weekend BBQ. It does have quite a few components, but the end result makes the effort worthwhile. For me, it’s all about the balsamic onions.

This is one of those vegetarian recipes where you definitely won’t miss the meat (read: all the halloumi) and is perfect for lunch or dinner, summer or winter.

1 cup tri-colour quinoa
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, finely sliced
½ head broccoli, cut into florets*
50g halloumi cheese, cut into 0.5cm thick slices
2 big handfuls baby spinach
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Sea salt & cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 200°C

Rinse quinoa and place in a small saucepan with 1¼ cups of water. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once cooked transfer to a bowl, separate the grains with a fork and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, toss the sweet potato in a little olive oil, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and add the broccoli, tossing slightly before placing back in the oven for a further 15 minutes, or until both veggies are nice and golden.

While the veggies are roasting, get your onions frying over medium heat in a small saucepan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Once they start to soften, add a decent splash of balsamic vinegar and a little water (enough to almost cover the onions). Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow them to cook right down until all the liquid is dissolved and the onions are really soft and sweet.

While the onions are doing their thing, you can pan fry the halloumi. Add the slices to a dry frypan (no oil) over medium-high heat and cook on both sides until golden brown. Dice or tear into bite-sized pieces.

To assemble, combine the quinoa, roasted veg, onions and halloumi in a serving bowl, then add the baby spinach, season with salt and pepper and add a final splash of balsamic vinegar. Give it a really good mix up and you’re done!

*You can also use asparagus instead of broccoli, or even both. The same cooking process applies.

Serves 4.

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