A lot of times I feel like my body needs a cleanse. Especially after a late night dinner out or perhaps after a meat packed week. Nothing would satisfy me more than a zesty fresh vegetarian salad. So how about a mixture of parsley leaves, mint, spring onions, pomegranate, lemon juice and honey, joining forces with the super grain ‘quinoa’ and walnuts for your protein and essential nutrients portions? Sounds refreshing right? it sure is and I promise this salad will become a favourite once you try it.
*Note: Toast your walnuts lightly before you add them to your salad to release these lovely oils and flavours which make this dish even more special.
Now quinoa, how do I cook it and what does it look like? Well, here are some pics to introduce you to this super grain if you are not familiar with it, followed by steps on how to cook it to perfection!
Quinoa is super easy to cook, most of the ones available are pre-rinsed to get rid of the bitter coating around the grain, so you only need to rinse them under cold running water for 30 seconds, then for every cup of the grain you add 2 cups of cold water in a pan, bring to boil then cover and reduce heat to low, simmer for 10-12 mins until all water is absorbed, turn off heat, leave to cool then fluff it with a fork, and you are done! No oil, No salt needed, just add water pretty much.
‘Bon appetit’ or ‘Bel-hana’
- 1 cup of quinoa grain rinsed under cold water for 30 secs.
- 1 large bunch of Italian parsley leaves chopped coarsely.
- half a small iceberg lettuce for serving.
- half to 1 cup of lettuce leaves chopped.
- 3 spring onions chopped.
- 1 small bunch of fresh mint leaves chopped coarsely.
- seeds of 1 pomegranate, reserve some seeds and juice in a little jar for serving.
- lightly toasted natural walnuts (not much, extra on serving).
- 4 table spoons of olive oil.
- juice of 1 medium lemon.
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon natural honey.
- Rinse Quinoa with cold running water, drain,then add 1 cup of cold water to the grain in a pan, bring to boil, cover on low heat and simmer for 10-12 mins until cooked and water absorbed, leave to cool, then fluff with a fork.
- while quinoa is cooking chop up your greens and prepare pomegranate seeds.
- Mix the chopped greens (parsley, mint,lettuce and spring onions) in a bowl.
- Add the cooled quinoa and pomegranate seeds and toss all ingredients together (you can prepare quinoa a day ahead and keep it in the fridge).
- Prepare dressing by mixing olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper to taste, add to bowl and stir gently.
- Transfer salad to a serving plate, garnish with walnuts, reserved pomegranate seeds and juice, then serve immediately so that the herbs do not get the chance to soften.