I love a good power-packed super food quinoa salad! And this one was a huge hit and so simple to make.
Sometimes I get totally stumped when it comes to preparing work lunches for the week. I am a HUGE fan and advocate of meal prepping but meal prepping can get a little overwhelming when planning each Sunday. WHAT DO I MAKE is usually the first thought that goes through my head, followed by CAN IT BE REHEATED/WILL IT LAST WITHOUT GOING GROSS.
Well lovelies, this one is perfect for lunches, dinners and meal planning, and even more perfect for those following a vegan or plant based lifestyle (because it is PACKED with nutrients and forms a complete meal).
Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’, you’re welcome) is a super grain. Well, actually, technically it’s not even a grain. It’s a seed, and a mega source of (plant-based) protein. And, because it is GLUTEN FREE, quinoa is the perfect option for those who are sensitive to gluten. MOST IMPORTANTLY, quinoa is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.
The key to this super food quinoa salad is to use what you have available to you. Yes, the combination I have in the recipe is obviously one that I have tried and tested (and tastes awesome together FYI), but if you don’t have some of the fresh vegetables at hand then IMPROVISE (improvising saves money and waste). Try any vegetable that can be lightly sautéed or roasted 🙂
You also need to know HOW TO COOK QUINOA PERFECTLY. Cooking quinoa is a little like folding fitted sheets. It seems impossible until you learn the fail proof method, and then you wonder why you didn’t know how to do it sooner. I promise my method is no-fail. You can do it!
This super food quinoa salad is so delicious it doesn’t even need a dressing. The garlic, chilli and flavours of the vegetables combine perfectly and are enhanced with a little drizzle of lemon juice before serving.
On to the delicious super food quinoa salad!
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 brown onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp chilli (semi dried or fresh and finely chopped)
- 1 full bunch silver beet, de-stemmed and washed
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/4 pumpkin
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp pumpkin kernels
- 1 punnet grape/cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon juice to taste
- Rinse and cook the quinoa following my no-fail method. Leave with the lid on (off heat) once cooked until the salad is ready to assemble;
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a tray with baking paper. Peel and chop the pumpkin and sweet potato into cubes and add to a bowl. Drizzle with 1tbsp coconut oil, salt, pepper and 1 clove crushed garlic and toss (hands are best to toss). Spread over the baking tray and bake for 40 minutes or until soft;
- In a fry pan add the second tbsp coconut oil, crushed garlic and chilli and bring to a medium heat. Chop the onion and silver beet and add to the pan. Sauté until the onion is soft and transparent;
- Add all ingredients (baked sweet potato and pumpkin, sautéed onion and silver beet, quinoa, pumpkin kernels and tomatoes) to a large serving bowl and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste;
- Before serving, drizzle with lemon juice to taste.
As mentioned, this salad is delicious warm or cold and will last in the fridge for 2-3 days. I recommend meal prepping for your work week on Sunday and Wednesday to keep your food as fresh as possible.