Winter quinoa salad

Quinoa salad 6

This beautiful and nutritious salad will brighten up any dark, dreary day. I know you are probably saying salads are for Summer but the ingredients in this recipe are available all year round in our supermarkets so there is no reason not to give it a go to brighten up any day –  you will be so glad and your body will thank you for it. You will know from a previous recipe that I am a big fan of quinoa not just because it is quick and easy to make, but also because it is a super healthy source of (plant-based) protein and a slow release energy sustaining food (i.e. keeps you full for longer!).  It also keeps and travels well so very handy for making wonderful healthy lunches to bring to work and also for using up leftovers such as cooked chicken or roasted vegetables. Beats a ham sandwich any day! Continue reading


Smoked Salmon with soft boiled egg and quinoa


Smoked Salmon & Egg Photo bw

If you haven’t tried quinoa before I urge you to buy some this weekend and include it in your diet from now on. Quinoa is a great source of protein, fibre and is rich in minerals, B-vitamins and vitamin E. It cooks in 15 minutes and is also wheat-free, gluten-free and contains anti-inflammatory compounds. I am a big fan because it is so versatile, adds protein and substance to salads to make them more filling and satisfying (fuller for  longer!) plus it’s a keeper i.e. cooked quinoa keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour in itself(same as pasta or rice) but has a nice nutty flavour and fluffy texture. This quick lunch was made from some left-over white quinoa to which I piled on some beautiful Irish organic smoked salmon and a soft boiled egg. This would also make a great breakfast. It was topped off with some of my homemade mayonnaise (see previous post) to which I added some chopped dill. You will also find another recipe using quinoa in a previous post – Butternut Squash & Quinoa salad.

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Roasted Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad

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!

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