I'm the kind of person who appreciates a good simple recipe that serves as a starting point for a quick and easy meal. Usually I like the recipe to be grounded in a nice vegetable base, which I can then choose to leave as a purely vegetarian meal or serve it with a nice dollop of goat cheese or a soft-cooked egg. Not everyone in my house is vegetarian, and that's where a nice recipe like this one comes in handy. You can serve it as a main dish and even as a simple side. Last night, I made this dish for my husband and myself and served it on a bed of mixed lettuces. It's a perfect, cozy meal on an early winter night. Note: This meal comes together in ~15-20 minutes when you cheat just a bit by making the quinoa and rice in advance.
Warm Carrot Salad
Serving Size: 2 (500 calories per serving)
Fresh thyme has a nice soft essence and is less potent than the dried version. If you are using dried thyme I would use roughly 1 teaspoon. Also, I combined wild rice with the quinoa for interest but you could use 1 cup of dry quinoa instead.
1/2 cup quinoa, dry
1/2 cup wild rice, dry (for interest)
2 medium bunches of carrots, ends trimmed
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil pinch sea salt, pepper
Package of baby mixed green lettuces
Learn more about the better-for-you ingredients in this recipe:
Carrots – This crunchy root vegetable is packed with beta-carotene (which your body automatically converts to vitamin A). Vitamin A helps to support strong, healthy vision and has been identified as a deterrent against age-related macular degeneration.
Pre-heat oven to 425F degrees.
Prepare the quinoa by combining 1 cup of vegetable stock (or water) with 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the quinoa is fluffy and there is just a splash of broth at the bottom of the saucepan. Turn off the heat and allow quinoa to sit for 2-3 minutes until the remaining drop of broth is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside. Follow the same procedure and cook the wild rice.
Cut carrots in 1/2″ slices on the bias. Toss carrots in a large bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are slightly brown and golden.
In a dry skillet over low to medium heat, toast almonds until lightly brown and fragrant (3-4 minutes).
Toss carrots, quinoa, wild rice, thyme leaves, almonds and raisins in a large bowl. Serve on a bed of mixed baby lettuces with a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!