I absolutely love this salad, it’s colour, taste and texture not to mention all the nutritious goodies it contains. The recipe is one from Derval O’Rourke’s book “Food for the fast lane”.Quinoa is the real deal in terms of plant-based protein and is both gluten-free and low GI. The pomegranate seeds are like shiny ruby-red jewels scattered over the top of the salad – how could you not love it. (Having said that I still haven’t mastered the art of getting the seeds out of the pomegranate without the red juice squirting over my clothes!)
I don’t really need an excuse to make this but I find it a really good lunch option as the protein content leaves you feeling really satisfied. It is also a very good meal to have after exercise / training of any sort. The fact that it doesn’t take much time to prepare is a ‘clincher’. The salad can be served either warm or cold so it works as a great healthy lunch-box option too.
Handy Tip: Cooked quinoa keeps well in the fridge so I always make enough for 2/3 days. I also roast the full butternut squash as this keeps well also and means tomorrow’s lunch is sorted too!
½ butternut squash peeled, de-seeded and cubed
Salt & Pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
50g goat’s cheese
Handful of mint leaves, chopped
Handful of pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 180° C / 350° F / gas 4
- Place the butternut squash cubes on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season well and roast for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the garlic and chilli (if using) and return to the oven for the 5-10 minutes, until soft.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the packet.
- Mix the roasted butternut squash and quinoa in a large bowl.
- Crumble in the goat’s cheese, add the mint and stir well to combine.
- Divide the salad between serving plates (or keep it all for yourself !)
- Sprinkle on the pumpkin and pomegranate seeds.
- Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve.