Roast Veg, Quinoa & Lentil Bowl with Hazelnut Dressing

I always appreciate my kitchen with such fondest after being away. As lovely as it is to eat out, explore new food and culture, and be cooked for either by friends, family or establishments, there is something about cooking for yourself that is so enjoyable, nourishing and satisfying. Well, for me anyway! After being away for a month or so I was also very happy to return to my local farmers market. Local, organic, fresh food at my doorstep is indeed another thing that I come to appreciate more after time away. So, this relatively simple salad was what came about after a early morning farmers market trip and a my first foray back in the kitchen. Its one of those meals that is easy and low maintenance, and just feels good to eat! I fought my tahini addiction also to use hazelnuts for the dressing and it was delicious. This dressing is one that will come to find a place in my fridge most weeks I feel now- try it out, Im sure you will love it too.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato cubed
  • 1 medium eggplant  cubed
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt – to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 12 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts

For the hazelnut dressing

  • ¼ cup hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons coconut or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • a few thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons filtered water

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Method:

Place the eggplant and sweet potato on a baking tray with the olive oil, salt and cumin and roast in a hot oven for around 35 minutes or until tender, stirring once half way through baking.

Place the baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, cooked quinoa, cooked lentils and hazelnuts in a large bowl.

When the eggplant and sweet potatoes are cooked, add them to the bowl and mix well.

For the dressing, simply add all ingredients to a blender and blend well until smooth and creamy, adding a little more water if you need to reach a creamy consistency.

Spoon 4-5 tablespoons of the dressing into the bowl and mix well. Add enough dressing so that everything is well coated. If you have extra dressing, it will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.

This recipe will serve 2 (very!) generously, or 4 as an entree or side.

 

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