This warm quinoa salad is all about balancing quinoa, mixed with caramelized baby carrots, toasted seeds, soft cheese, and some seasonal ingredients like oranges and mandarins. Healthy salads can be nutritious and delicious same time.
Perhaps you’ve been hearing about Quinoa and are curious as to all of the benefits that can be had by eating it. It’s a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron and is quick and easy to prepare. Quinoa is unique in that it contains more high-quality protein than any other seed or grain. Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked and a slightly nutty flavor, making it an excellent alternative to white rice or couscous. The seeds are covered with saponin, a resin-like substance that is extremely bitter and forms a soapy solution in water. The saponin should be removed by rinsing prior to cooking.
Toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds are one of my fav salad additions. I love that satisfying, nutty flavor. Try to toss it into your next salad that’ll be sure to perk up the taste buds of everyone at your supper table.
For toasted seeds use a wide frying pan and stovetop. Heat the sunflower and pumpkin seeds on medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove the seeds when they slightly darken and become fragrant. It takes between 3 and 5 minutes.
I like to make a big batch of toasted seeds and store it in a glass jar in the cupboard.
- Bunch of baby carrots, leafy tops removed, scrubbed clean
- 2/3 of Cup quinoa
- 1 Orange or two mandarins, peeled
- 1/2 Cup of Labneh cheese or cashew cheese
- 1/2 Cup of toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- 1 Tbsp of Maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp of melted coconut oil or ghee butter
- 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp of Tamari sauce
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of Nutmeg
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
+ Mint for garnish
- Let’s start from quinoa. Rinse quinoa with cold water using a sieve until the water that comes through is clear. Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups drinking water, lemon juice, and tamari. Let the quinoa boil two minutes, cover with lid, then let it simmer 10-15 minutes till all the water has been absorbed.
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss baby carrots with melted coconut oil (or melted ghee butter), maple syrup, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Transfer the carrots to the baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning, until tender and caramelized about 20-30 minutes.
- Place carrots with juices on a bed of quinoa. Add cheese and orange slices, sprinkle with toasted seeds, and garnish with mint.Serve warm.Enjoy!
This salad is perfect for lunch box.