Fuel for Dancing Recipes | Quinoa Salad with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

October 10, 2019

Fuel for Dancing Recipes

Dancers at any level of ability can burn lots of calories and need heathy fuel that supports the hard work of both the mind and body in dance.

Today’s featured recipe is recommended by Ballet 5:8 Company Artist and Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts Instructor Sam Opsal (Mr. Sam).


From Mr. Sam:

October is the start of Ballet 5:8’s touring schedule so, for this month, I will be sharing a quinoa salad that has been a staple for the company in the midst of performing.

It is a nice side dish that is light enough to eat before a show. This recipe is slightly more involved than we would have time to make during the busyness of tour, but if I am home I will make it this way. If time is of the essence the simple version is to prepare quinoa as directed on the package, combine with diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and garbanzo beans. Then dress with a vinaigrette and top with feta cheese. In this version we will be baking the quinoa which I like because it is consistent and you don’t have to worry about burning it to the bottom of your pot if it doesn’t have even heat conduction. If you like spending time in the kitchen and want to elevate the salad then read on! 

Quinoa Salad with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 or 2 cucumbers depending on size, diced

  • 1 bell pepper, diced

  • 5 Roma tomatoes 

  • 2 Tbs olive oil

  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans

  • Balsamic vinaigrette

  • Couple pinches of salt


  • Bacon 

  • Feta cheese 

Preheat oven to 390 degrees. Quarter the Roma tomatoes lengthwise and toss with olive oil and salt. Arrange on sheet pan skin side down. If you want bacon bits to give the salad more crunch, also lay bacon on a pan and place both the tomatoes and bacon in the preheated oven. Start checking at fifteen minutes, although it will probably take longer. The bacon is done when crispy and the tomatoes should start to caramelize around the edges. While in the oven all the vegetables can be cut. 

After bacon and tomatoes come out of the oven, turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Rinse quinoa in a sieve thoroughly and empty into a 9x13 cake pan. Boil 3 cups water (I use an electric kettle for this). Pour over quinoa and mix in minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and leave foil on for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. 

Finally, assemble the salad by mixing quinoa, cucumbers, bell peppers, garbanzo beans and dressing. Serve with the tomatoes on top and a sprinkling of bacon and feta. 

This recipe pairs well with the chicken from last month as shown in the picture.