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Roasted Blueberry Quinoa Salad

on July 24, 2013

What to do with a huge tub of blueberries sitting in my refrigerator? Last week I made a blueberry crisp, which was amazing. While it wasn’t full of too many unhealthy ingredients, I thought about trying to “healthify” it a little bit more. Then the healthy part of my brain nudged the unhealthy part of my brain and made me realize that I should just make something that is healthier than dessert to begin with. I wasn’t in a trial and error kind of mood anyway, and who knows how that healthy blueberry crisp would have turned out!

I’m a sucker for a grain salad. Greens and grains can work as a side dish or as a main dish. Throw in some roasted fruit? Even better. So I decided to roast those blueberries and use half of them to make a dressing for the salad. I threw the other half in the salad with a few extra fresh blueberries, some mixed greens, red onion, and feta cheese. Serve some toasted pita on the side and you have a filling, healthy summer meal.

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ROASTED BLUEBERRY QUINOA SALAD

makes about 4 servings

  • 2 cups blueberries, plus a few extra
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • red onion
  • feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup roasted blueberries
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread 2 cups of blueberries out on a parchment covered baking pan. Roast the blueberries for about 20 minutes, until they begin to burst.

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While the blueberries are roasting, go ahead and prepare the quinoa according to the directions on the package (again, you only need about 1 cup of cooked quinoa).

When your blueberries are finished roasting, it’s time to make the dressing. Combine about half (or 1 cup) of the roasted blueberries, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt & pepper, and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth (you can also use an immersion blender). Put your dressing in a jar and drop in the whole garlic clove. Refrigerate for an hour or two. If your dressing isn’t sweet enough for you, you could always add a little bit of honey.

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After your dressing has had a chance to chill out for a bit, combine the quinoa, as much of the mixed greens as your heart desires, remaining roasted blueberries, a few fresh blueberries, some chopped onion, and feta cheese in a bowl. Drizzle some dressing over the salad (again, as much as you would like), and toss until everything is coated.

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Crumble a little extra feta on top of each serving. Some toasted pita on the side was great for scooping up the salad! My waistline thanked me for making something healthier with those blueberries, although I’m sure my kids would have loved another batch of blueberry crisp!

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