Dinner Tonight: Lemon Herb Quinoa + Roasted Spring Root Vegetables

This is the kind of meal that leaves you feeling particularly virtuous, that you'll want to brag about (subtly, of course) at the office tomorrow. You'll almost feel the glow of that halo as you pack up the leftovers for your kids' lunch -- just look at those green polka-dotted, protein-packed grains. A mess o'vegetables on the side (buttered, because that's just good sense) can't hurt. Yum! A dinner well done.

The Menu

Lemon Herb Quinoa with Hemp Seeds, Spring Peas, and Basil by Gena Hamshaw

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water, cold
1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (plus a little extra)
1 dash black pepper

1. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer with cold water. Transfer to a pot and add the 2 cups cold water and a nice pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer, and leave the lid of the pot slightly ajar while cooking. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until quinoa is plump, the water is absorbed, and you see the tiny little outer “shells” of the quinoa grain coming loose in the pot.

3. Remove quinoa from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes or so. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

4. While quinoa is cooking, boil fresh or frozen peas till warm and tender. Drain and set aside.

5. Mix quinoa, peas, basil, and hemp seeds in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and black pepper. Pour over the quinoa salad mixture, and serve warm or cold. Dish will keep excellently (though the basil might turn a little dark) in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Save and print this recipe at Food52.

Roasted Spring Root Vegetables with Horseradish Thyme Butter

Get the recipe for Roasted Spring Root Vegetables on Food52.

The Grocery List

Vidalia onions
Fresh thyme
Green peas (fresh or frozen)
Hemp seeds (optional)

We bet you have Dijon mustard, carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper, maple syrup, lemons, vinegar, and butter at home already. If not, add them to your shopping list, as you'll need those, too.

The Plan

1. Start with the roasted root vegetables. Prep them, and toss in the oven for 45 minutes.

2. Now focus on the quinoa! Cook the peas and quinoa, fluff it up and toss everything together. Dress and let rest at room temp while you finish up the rest of the meal.

3. When the vegetaables are just about done, melt together the horseradish and buttery herb mixture. Dress the roasted vegetables and serve alongside a generous help of quinoa. Gobble up!

Photos by James Ransom