You must have all heard about Quinoa by now. In the last couple of years it has become the miracle grain and we just can’t get enough of it! If you’re a vegetarian, you should have already made it your best friend. Those of you that need a little encouragement in getting to know this awesome food, a salad is a good place to start. Once you find a few great recipes, you’ll find Quinoa is suitable for all occasions and mealtimes.
This salad doesn’t require much effort and will impress. It’s vegan and it’s light but also packed with protein. The chickpeas bump up the fibre content while the spinach helps bring in iron, and with the vitamin C in the pear and parsley boosting its bioavailability.
Ingredients: serves 4
1 cup organic quinoa
2 handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves
1 medium ripe pear, cut into pieces
1/2 cup fresh or tinned chick peas, drained
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons organic pure maple syrup
First cook your quinoa. Place the quinoa in a saucepan and add 2 cups water with a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and put it into a large bowl.
Add the chick peas, baby spinach, pear and chopped parsley to the quinoa and toss.
Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Pour this vinaigrette onto the quinoa mix and toss gently to coat.
I like to sprinkle some roasted pinenuts to add some crunchy texture, almonds or any nut for that matter will suffice. This is a fabulous vegetarian meal but works equally as well as a side salad to any fish or meat dish. It stores good in the fridge for a couple of days, in fact grows in flavour.
Like I mentioned earlier, quinoa is a no brainer, easy way to get some good nourishment with great versatility. Give it a go today!