Roasted Vegetable and Harvest Grains Salad

Roasted Vegetable and Harvest Grains Salad

There is a version of myself, tucked deep inside, that wishes I didn’t care so much about food. She gets fed up with my daily internal struggles over what constitutes a “normal” amount of cheese, and is annoyed by just how much I love wine and carbs after 7pm. She wants us to be like Chris Trager, and spend our time doing things like attending art shows or running in 5Ks for charity. She has really, really good intentions. And I love her for it.

But I am who I am, and sometimes, a girl’s gotta play the hand she’s been dealt. My hand will always include late-night ice cream cravings. It’s just the way it is. So while I agree with her that it’s probably a lot easier (and a lot less guilt-inducing) to be ambivalent about where your next dose of calories will come from (“Meh, I’ll just have another salad, la la la”), it’s probably a lot less fun than what happens in my brain when I bite into a truly perfect lemon clove cookie. It’s like a party in there.

Still, even though I truly believe there is no such thing as “too much cheese,” I try to keep all versions of my food-self happy.  I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m all about healthy, wholesome food, and I adore vegetables. But eating the same tossed salad for days on end is something I just can’t bring myself to do. So when I find a “salad” like this (and I use the term loosely, because it’s so, so, so much more than that), I feel like I’ve won the jackpot.

When I stumbled upon these harvest grains, I felt a little tingle of excitement. Israeli couscous, red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa – are you serious? This is the carb combination my healthy-self dreams about. It’s hearty and nutty but still chewy and soft. Sign me up. Toss in a ton of simple roasted vegetables and a classic dressing of oil and vinegar, and this is a salad I can totally get behind on a regular basis.

Roasted Vegetable and Harvest Grains Salad

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
16 oz harvest grains
2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp sesame oil
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prep and chop all of the vegetables.

Note: I decided to roast the more delicate vegetables (peppers and broccoli) separate from the heartier vegetables (carrot, butternut squash, onion) since prefer a bit more crispness in my veggie, but if you don’t, by all means roast them together.

Place peppers and broccoli on one foil-lined baking sheet, and place carrot, squash, and onion on a second foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle both with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Toss to coat.

Once oven is heated, place vegetables in oven – peppers and broccoli for about 20 minutes, carrots, squash, and onion for about 40 or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare harvest grains according to package directions using stock and water. (If you can’t find harvest grains, your favorite grain can be subbed in just fine).

Combine vegetables and grains and toss with oil and vinegar. Serve warm or cold.