It was Meat free Monday and I needed a tasty meat free lunch.
A quick check in the fridge and I found some leftover quinoa and roasted pumpkin.
I knew we also had some baby spinach leaves and feta cheese.
With the help of some fire roasted peppers (which are like roasted capsicums), which I always have in the pantry, and some edamame (see note below) from the freezer, this salad was born.
Super quick and easy to make and it was DELICIOUS!!!
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, any colour (see notes on how to cook quinoa below)
- ⅔ cup roasted pumpkin
- ⅓ cup diced roasted red capsicums/peppers
- ⅓ cup shelled edamame (see below)
- ¼ cup (approx 50g) crumbled feta
- 2 big handfuls of spinach leaves (approx 50-60g)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¾ teaspoon dijon mustard
- Start by making the dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- To a medium sized mixing bowl add the quinoa and pour over the dressing. Mix well.
- Add pumpkin, capsicum, edamame, feta and spinach leaves. Combine carefully to avoid mashing the pumpkin.
- Eat and enjoy!
To cook quinoa: Rinse 3/4 cup of quinoa in a sieve. Add rinsed quinoa to a saucepan that has a good fitting lid along with 1 cup of cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and cook covered for 15 minutes. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes before removing lid and using a fork to fluff it up. Makes approx 2 cups of cooked quinoa.
Edamame: are green soy beans. Available in the freezer section of any Asian Supermarket that includes Japanese foods. To use, simply pour into a pot of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Squeeze the beans out of the pods with fingers – don’t eat the pods!! You can eat edamame hot or cold, on their own (they make a great snack) or add them to salads, stir fries, casseroles, risottos etc
Information about Quinoa
Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa (not quin-oh-a), is the South American seed that has gathered popularity fast in Australia over the past few years. Although it is used like a grain, the fact that it is actually a seed is the reason for its nutritional greatness. Which includes that it is:
- a complete protein source which is very important for vegetarians and vegans (8g protein per cooked cup)
- high in fibre
- lower GI than the grains that it is usually substituted for – namely rice, cous cous, bourghul
- gluten free, so ideal for Coeliacs or those with gluten intolerances
Not to mention that it is quick and easy to cook.
There are many varieties of quinoa, but what you will typically find in shops is either white, red or black quinoa. They all have the same nutritional profile, taste the same and are cooked the same way.