Salads are so great. Although there seems to be a bit of the whole old diet stigma thing associated with salads & people all over are thinking it’s not a real meal. Not hearty enough. Because, like meat and protein, that’s the main event. Right?
They seem to be, but we eat enough protein, too much in fact. And we don’t eat nearly enough vegetables. So really, who should be the main event?
Thankfully, some people are starting to accept the above fact, and hello from the other side (sorry, couldn’t help myself), we have hearty salads popping up all over. Salads with substance. And I’m (almost) as happy as I would be if a unicorn farting rainbows flew past me as I eating Gelato Messina.
Finally the days of eating a simple lettuce and tuna salad for lunch are gone, and tummy-filling nutritious things like freekeh, quinoa, cheeses, roast vegetables, lentils and seeds are filling our plates and bowls. We’re using fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil and holy moly, shit hot damn, we’re making tahini yoghurt dressings. See, salads sound so great.
The thing is – they are great. They are a fabulous opportunity to up the vegetables and combine with some lean protein, wholegrain carbohydrates & healthy fats to make a balanced, hearty meal. A satisfying main event.
So as optimistic as I am, I’m not yet convinced that the diet stigma on salads is gone, so I’m sharing this delicious salad I whipped up for my mum & I.
Pumpkin, pomegranate & green-things quinoa salad.
Baby spinach, a few big handfuls.
400-500g Jap pumpkin, peeled & roasted, 1-2cm cubes
~100g green beans (or asparagus, or broccoli, or all of the above)
~100g snow peas/sugar snap peas
1 pomegranate, seeded (I used 1/2-1/3 of the seeds)
~50-100g feta/goat’s cheese (I used marinated danish feta)
1/2 cup raw quinoa
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 handful mint, chopped
1 tbsp toasted pumpkin & sunflower seeds
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Salt & pepper, to season
1. Line a baking tray with baking paper & place pumpkin cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and cook till tender (cooking time will vary on size of cubes; mine took approximately 30 minutes) (You could also buzz in microwave for a few moments to kickstart the cooking process)
2. Cook the raw quinoa on the stove or microwave, as per packet directions. Generally it’s 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.
3. Blanch the beans and snow peas in boiling after for 3 minutes, then drain and refresh with cold water.
4. Once pumpkin and quinoa are cooking, combine in bowl with spinach, beans, snow pears, parsley and mint. Sprinkle with feta pomegranate & pumpkin/sunflower seeds. Combine dressing ingredients & drizzle. Toss.
5. We served with a side of roast chicken.
It’s time to stop the salad stigma.