I adore veggie sandwiches. From the classic avocado, tomato & sprouts on grainy bread, to a hot one filled with grilled veggies, I could eat them every day.
And I absolutely adore quinoa! Quinoa is a recently discovered ancient grain. It is a complete protein, supplying all 9 essential amino acids, plus is a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus. I like to cook a bunch at a time, because I'll eat it for breakfast (drizzled with some raw honey and almonds - yum), lunch, or dinner. I find it the perfect thing to toss anything and everything into. I just use whatever is around... from diced fruit to diced veggies, nuts, seeds, you name it. I tend to prefer something sweet, a fresh fruit such as a diced mango or some blueberries, some dried fruit, some kind of fresh herb and some nuts for crunch. Add a light dressing and you have a fast, delicious side or even a meal.
So, all that said, this is one of my favorite pairings. For this sandwich, I grilled some meaty whole portabello mushrooms, thick Vidalia onion slices, and some sliced zucchini. I just brush the veggies with a little olive oil, season with some lemon pepper and grill them up. You could also use red bell peppers, yellow squash, and eggplant is especially delicious grilled.
For this sandwich I really love a grainy sourdough bread, like Trader Joe's cracked wheat sourdough. I spread both inside slices with some goat cheese (hummus would be great, too), layer on the veggies, and toast it on a stovetop skillet until golden brown.
For the salad, really there is no recipe. Tonight I searched the pantry and fridge and came up with the following: a finely diced apple, chopped dates, chopped pecans, fresh cilantro, and green onion. I tossed it lightly with a splash of peach balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and seasoned with a bit of pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper. SO good!