I can’t pretend I decided to make this quinoa salad for it’s health benefits. However brilliant it’s gluten free, protein packed, calcium crammed credentials are it wasn’t them that sold it to me -it was its name. Quinoa- now that is a funny word! How can you not say it and chuckle?! Spill it and there’ll be “keen-wah every-wah” – you’ll have me in stitches.
I just couldn’t resist the urge to have my macho meat eating non gluten free friends asking to “please pass the quinoa”!
What I wasn’t expecting was their enthusiasm for seconds- they couldn’t get enough of it! None of us could. It was amazing!
The nutty bite it adds works a dream in a way that cous cous never could. It’s teeny size means it embraces the vegetables giving a satisfying crunch with every bite and it’s ability to absorb flavours without loosing any of its own makes it go with anything. I am totally won over.
I found the idea for this on bbcgoodfood and just played with the ratios a little. Calorifically quinoa isn’t an angel, all that goodness doesn’t come for free, and so I was keen not to add too much as we were having alongside burgers. The ratios I ended up with worked well and provided plenty for the eight of us.
Quinoa, you can come again!
Makes enough for 8 as a side or a light lunch
Adapted from BBC Good Food
600g butternut squash, peeled and cut into inch cubes
2tbsp vegetable oil
1tsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2tbsp thyme leaves
1 1/2 heads of broccoli
Handful of cranberries, approx 30g
Handful of sunflower seeds
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
60g feta, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Coat the butternut squash in the oil and roast for 40mins, or until tender. Leave to cool
- Rinse and cook the quinoa according to pack instructions – taking care with rinsing as the uncooked grains will fall through the holes in most sieves! Once cooked set aside to cool
- Heat the coconut oil in a separate pan over a medium/ low heat and gently fry the garlic and onion until it starts to soften. Then add the thyme, a splash of hot water and the broccoli; cover and allow to steam. Remove from the heat once the broccoli is cooked and pop into another bowl to cool
- When everything has cooled mix the butternut squash, broccoli mix and quinoa other along with the cranberries, sunflower seeds and balsamic vinegar
- Scatter over the feta and serve
Alternatively this could all be served warm so remove the cooling times or reheat in a microwave, being careful not to overcook the broccoli.