Quinoa is a hard grain to beat generally but especially if you are into vegan/vegetarian food. When you’ve eaten your body weight in brown rice and pasta no longer appeals (all that gluten, darling) quinoa is the logical next step. Versatile (it can be eaten hot or cold), inexpensive, filling and jam packed with nutrients, it should quite frankly take pride of place in everybody’s kitchen.
As I prefer quinoa cold in salads, I tend to cook up a batch and keep it in the fridge – adding a handful here and there as required. A little tends to go a long way. Quinoa is rather tasteless by birth, so add a touch of Himalayan sea salt or herb salt to the cooking water to gain flavour. Alternatively, if you’re using it cold in salads, you can let the dressing do the work.
A native of South America, the Incas called quinoa the ‘mother grain’ due to its high protein content. As a matter of fact, quinoa is a complete protein, containing all eight essential amino acids which is rare in the plant world. In addition, quinoa contains lots of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zink.
Today’s salad recipe is delicious and filling – ensuring you’ll get a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and fats in one go.
Protein salad with tahini and mustard dressing
( serves 2)
1 cup cooked cold quinoa
1 cup spinach
1 cup broccoli, florets cut in small pieces
1 cup shredded carrot (I used the pulp from the morning carrot juice)
1 tomato, cut into smallish pieces
1 avocado, sliced
Small handful of coriander
1/2 lemon or lime for final drizzle
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (love Braggs or Biona)
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tsp shredded ginger
1 tsp Dijon mustard (or more if you like it strong)
salt & pepper to taste
- Mix all of the ingredients apart from tomatoes and avocado. Add the dressing and squeeze and massage the dressing until all is mixed. Add the avocado, tomatoes and lemon/lime juice. Enjoy!