Quinoa Rainbow Salad

I am so excited for Christmas this year!! Well, I'm excited for Christmas every year. I am immovably romantic/sentimental about holidays, and one of the reasons holidays are such a big deal is because of the food. The best thing about the Christmas season is the food. You've got your obligatory Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, but then you've also got everything else - Food that isn't necessarily Christmas food, but food that makes you feel Christmas-y. In honour of that, I've planned 12 days of Festive Cooking on this blog, starting on the 9th of December. Trust me when I say that everything I plan to cook is indulgent. So, it makes sense to prepare ourselves with a few healthy things, right?

This is definitely the healthiest thing to appear on this blog yet... and maybe EVER. But I promise it tastes good! I think Quinoa is one of my best food discoveries in recent times. It's partly because it's ridiculously good for you, but also because I really like its nutty flavour and texture. Seriously, add some Quinoa to some simmering chicken broth for around 15-20 minutes and you've got a really nice soup. It also works anywhere you would have put couscous, bulgar wheat or even rice. And it's a complete protein source, so if you're a vegetarian you have honestly hit the jackpot. Do you get how much I love this stuff now??

This salad isn't exactly the easiest thing to put together, as it involves more than dressing some leaves with a bit of oil and lemon, but I think it's worth it. A big bowl of this with a roast chicken for lunch for four would be perfect. You can put any vegetables you like in it, so this is more of a theory than a recipe.

Quinoa Rainbow Salad
serves 4

250g Quinoa
2 red peppers
2 small carrots
1 head of broccoli
A handful of coriander, chopped roughly
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Juice of a lemon

First, cook your quinoa according to the packet instructions. This usually involves simmering it in water for about 15-20 minutes, just until the little tails have unspooled themselves. Drain and let it cool.

Meanwhile, cut your vegetables into small pieces. I went for 1cm cubes and small florets of broccoli, but this is also completely up to you. If you're using broccoli as well, prepare a pan of boiling salted water, and chuck the broccoli pieces in for less than a minute, so they just lose their rawness but retain their crunchiness. Immediately drain and rinse in cold water or plunge into an ice bath.

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the chopped onion and the spices. When the onion has softened and turned translucent, add the garlic, stir for a minute or so and then take off the heat and let cool.
[If, unlike me, you like raw onion and garlic in your salad, you don't have to do this. Just mix the spices and the oil with the garlic, and mix the onion in with the other vegetables]

Mix the lemon juice in with the oil and onion, then toss the vegetables and quinoa in with it. Stir the chopped coriander through and serve.

SarahHealthy, SaladComment