Baby Veggie Bites over Green Quinoa Salad

Baby Veggie Bites over Green Quinoa SaladHappy Meatless Monday to everyone! I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing weekend.

I have no cutesy background story for this recipe so this will be short. I recently discovered the surprising awesomeness that is Costco (full disclosure on the next post). While I was there I happened to notice a large bag of assorted baby squash. I’ve never used baby squash before and was inspired so I threw it in the cart. A few days earlier I bought a few baby eggplants. It must have been baby veggie week! If you like baby squash you’ll love the recipe I’ll be posting on Friday. Anyway, they sat around until Sunday waiting for me to decide what to do with them. I decided to put together a flavorful black bean puree to use as a filling and roast them. Of course it needed a side to compliment the flavors which is where the Green Quinoa Salad comes in. This is a pretty simple recipe from my kitchen to yours. I hope you enjoy!

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Notes:

  • If you don’t have a pastry bag you can use a plastic Ziploc bag and just snip a little off a corner. It’s best to snip a little off, if it needs to be bigger that’s easy to fix. You can’t make a big hole smaller.
  • To fill a bag easier pinch off the end by folding it over and place inside of a glass (as pictured above). Scoop in filling and you’re good to go!

Baby Veggie Bites over Green Quinoa Salad

vegan, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free option*

Ingredients:

  • 12 baby pattypan squash, washed and ends trimmed
  • 10 baby eggplants (also called Indian eggplant), washed and stems removed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, stems removed and cut in chunks
  • 4 ounces diced green chiles
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • handful cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Panko breadcrumbs, estimating 1/2 cup (*use gluten-free)

For the Green Quinoa Salad:

  • 1 cup white quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut squash and eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place each seeded half with the scooped out side facing up in glass baking dishes. I had to use one large and one small baking dish to fit them all.
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients (except for the bread crumbs) in a food processor, blend until smooth.
  4. Fill a pastry bag (see note) with the black bean mixture and pipe filling into each baby veggie. I used a star tip for a more appealing presentation.
  5. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and bake for 25 minutes. Broil at 500 degrees for 8 minutes or until bread crumbs are brown.
  6. While veggies are roasting make the quinoa salad.

Directions for quinoa salad:

  1. Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Add peas to quinoa the last 8 minutes of simmer time.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Drain quinoa if necessary and toss with other ingredients in a large bowl. Taste for salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with baby veggie bites and enjoy!

Baby Veggie Bites over Green Quinoa Salad

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