Summer is one of my favorite times of the year! I adore all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are in abundance at the local farmers’ markets and the beautiful warm days and long summer nights are perfect for having family and friends over for a delicious summer dinner.
I use my outdoor and indoor grill for cooking up all kinds of tasty recipes during the summer months. Today I’m sharing my recipe for grilled summer vegetable quinoa. This easy recipe is fantastic for a simple and light summer dinner and a great way to eat more vegetables. This recipe is also versatile to serve for many different people’s tastes and health needs because it’s grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, paleo, and vegan.
I marinate the zucchini, orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and shallots in balsamic vinaigrette before grilling them on a stovetop grill which adds deep flavors and keeps the vegetables juicy and tender. Once the vegetables are done cooking, I serve them with steamed quinoa and top with additional balsamic vinaigrette, juicy tomatoes, green onions and parsley.
Quinoa is one of my favorite healing foods to use in place of grains that have gluten. Quinoa adds great flavor, additional protein, and lots of health benefits to the recipe. Here are some of quinoa’s healing nutrients.
Quinoa is a tiny seed that has been cultivated for over 3000 years. Quinoa is a protein-rich, gluten-free seed that is eaten like a grain. ½ cup of quinoa contains 11 grams of healthy plant protein along with eight essential amino acids.
Quinoa is a good source of B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and zinc. Since quinoa is a seed, it does contain anti-nutrients that protect it from sprouting until the right conditions are met. Soaking and sprouting the quinoa before cooking removes these anti-nutrients. I also like to toast it for a few minutes to enhance the nutty flavor and remove some of the moisture from the soaking process.
If you don’t have time to soak and sprout your quinoa, you need to rinse it thoroughly before cooking to remove the bitter saponin coating. You can also buy organic sprouted quinoa that is already done for you and ready to be cooked.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Quinoa
Makes 2 entrées or 4 side dish servings
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or dark balsamic vinegar (where to buy white balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves—grated
1¼ teaspoons Himalayan sea salt
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or rapadura
⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (where to buy purity certified olive oil)
Vegetables and quinoa for entrée:
2 large organic zucchini squash
5 peeled shallots
3 baby organic orange bell peppers
3 baby organic yellow bell peppers
½ cup diced roma or heirloom tomatoes
¼ cup diced green onions (scallions)
5-6 sprigs of parsley
2 cups cooked quinoa
1. In a large bowl, place all the vinaigrette ingredients except the olive oil inside and whisk with a fork or wire whisk until well combined. Slowly whisk in the olive oil into until it forms vinaigrette. Set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Rinse zucchini, shallots, and bell peppers and pat dry. Cut bell peppers and shallots in half. Remove stems and seeds from inside the bell peppers. Cut zucchini into ½-inch pieces.
3. Add cut vegetables in the bowl with the balsamic vinaigrette and toss to coat well. Set aside and allow vegetables to marinate for 15-20 minutes while you cook the quinoa.
4. Place rinsed or sprouted quinoa in a pot and cook according to package directions. Once the quinoa is done cooking, take off the heat and keep covered while you cook the vegetables.
5. After the vegetables are done marinating heat grill pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and place vegetables on the hot grill.
6. Cook vegetables for 2-3 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove vegetables from heat and serve on a bed of quinoa. Top vegetables with diced tomato, green onion, and parsley sprigs and drizzle with a small amount of the remaining vinaigrette. Enjoy immediately.
What’s your favorite foods to grill? Please contribute to the conversion by leaving a comment.
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