I’ve always liked the phrase ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, and I think it applied here. Honestly, I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired when looking for new recipes of late. Although I’ve been doing a lot of browsing online, in magazines and in cook books, there haven’t been any of those moments when I’ve felt really excited to try something. I was also looking for something that was healthy and fresh with all the lovely hot weather we’ve been having in London, and in preparation for the holiday I’m very much looking forward to next month! However, the good thing about this blog is that it leaves me accountable and with no recipe inspiration, it was necessary invent one. And I’m glad I did!
So the inspiration from this superfood salad comes from the many different types I’ve eaten at restaurants and cafes over time, things I like in salads and to some extent, what was in the fridge. I got the idea of using a honey and mustard based dressing from a superfood salad I’d had in Borough Market. But as I was improvising such a dressing, it felt like it required a bit of an Eastern influence to balance out the flavour with some soy sauce. As in every quinoa recipe I make now, I start by toasting it for a few minutes before adding liquid in order to release a slightly nutty flavour and give it a slightly crunchier texture. Of course, the quinoa also means this dish is gluten free and protein packed. I’ve had raw veg like kale and brocolli in salads before, but preferred the idea of it being slightly cooked while maintaining their crunch. Therefore, I opted to steam them just briefly over the quinoa, which also saves on washing up!
The proportions I’ve described should make enough for 2 decent sized portions, giving you a lovely fresh, summery and nutrient packed meal!
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- 1/2 broccoli, discarding the stem and chopped up into small florets
- 2 handfuls of kale (around 80g), chopped
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes (around 150 – 200g), finely chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, the juice of
- 10 almonds, finely sliced (optional, to serve)
- 50g of crumbled feta (optional, to serve)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
How to make it
- In a large saucepan, start by toasting the quinoa for 1-2 minutes. Then add the stock, bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to let it simmer for 12 minutes. Then add the brocolli and kale on top, cover and leave them to steam over the quinoa for a final 3 minutes. Leave to one side to cool, or rinse with cold water and drain.
- Prepare and mix together the red onion, cherry tomatoes and avocado, pouring the lemon juice over the salad mix to prevent the avocado from browning.
- In another little bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dressing.
- Finally, add the cooled quinoa and salad mix ingredients into a serving bowl. Pour over the dressing, and add the almonds slivers and feta if using.
For other recipes like this, please see: