I have been desperately trying to eat better, I have been on a semi diet for about four weeks now. I say semi, because I’ve totally indulged in rhubarb crumble, ice cream cones, strawberry truffles…you get the point. I started eating a porridge that contained quinoa, I read up on the benefits of eating it and they are pretty spectacular to be honest. Twice as much fibre as other grains, extremely protein rich. But let’s face it, although it has a semi nutty taste, it’s pretty boring. A bit like cous cous and brown rice, you need to pack it with flavour. So this salad was born, the dressing is based around what I used for my bruschetta. I’ve also gone a bit wonky and added raw sweet potato in it, but you know all those truffles!
You could swap the sweet potato out for another crunchy vegetable, the flavour mainly comes from the dressing and the olives. I know olives are an required taste, but black olives are so wonderfully sweet and delicious. I feel this would be lovely as a warm salad, you could roast some cherry tomatoes and grill some chicken if you wanted to add a meat. I loaded mine with prosciutto, mainly because I’m a healthy rebel. It’s completely vegan otherwise, it’s also filling.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
- 1 small sweet potato
- 100g of pitted black olives
- 100g of quinoa
- 2 large tomatoes or handful of cherry
- 1 small red onion
- 1 red pepper
- Mixed salad leaves
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- 1 tblsp of balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves
- Pinch of sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp of dried
- 1/4 tsp of dried oregano
- Add olive oil to a jug, finely chop garlic cloves and leave to sit in oil for the whole time your quinoa is cooking (approx 20 mins).
- Cook quinoa as instructed on the packet. Be prepared for sieving drama with quinoa, try popping a tea towel under a fine sieve so your quinoa doesn’t escape when rinsing.
- Whilst quinoa is cooking, finely chop red onion, red pepper, sweet potato (skin removed). I mandolined my sweet potato to make it easier to chop. Slice olives or keep them whole.
- Once cooked, fluff quinoa with a fork.
- Add quinoa and salad leaves in to a bowl with all your other chopped ingredients and mix well.
- Sieve garlic out of oil and throw away. Add balsamic, chopped basil, sugar, salt and oregano to oil. Mix well. Decant required salad in to a bowl and spoon over some dressing.