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Can salad ever be comforting?

I'm not really a "salad" person. I can't order a bowl of leafy greens alone and be happy. Yes, it's refreshing and tasty, but it can be cold and less than comforting. The weird thing is that I love vegetables. They're constantly surprising you with their versatility of flavor, texture, and variety. Just walking through the farmer's market I saw six different colors of carrots ranging from a pale cream to a deep aubergine. The possibilities are only limited by the contents of your bowl, and keeping vegetables bound to the rules of "side salad" just doesn't do them justice.

Two of my favorite salads firmly sit in comfort food territory for me. They're hearty, they're fresh, they're absolutely delicious. Best part is that they use the same vinaigrette, so less work for you! The first is a combination of sweet roasted vegetables with bright feta and parsley, the second is a crisp quinoa tabbouleh filled with fresh herbs, cucumber, and red onion. These make great weekday lunches or just something to keep in the fridge to snack on. Enjoy!

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Feta and Parsley

4 carrots, peeled and quartered
4 parsnips, peeled and quartered
2 rose potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley, coarsely chopped
4 oz feta, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Simply combine and mix until blended (I pop it in a container with a lid and shake it).

Preheat oven to 425F. Put the prepared vegetables into a roasting pan (with plenty of room) and sprinkle with salt and pepper and coat with olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, turning only once, until the vegetables are golden brown. Toss with parsley, vinaigrette, and feta. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup quinoa
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cucumbers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons mint
2 teaspoons chives
1/4 cup Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

Cook the quinoa according to instructions and cool.  Meanwhile, add the red onion to the vinaigrette to take the bite out.  Combine all of the ingredients.  Enjoy!

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