To celebrate the beginning of the warmer seasons here in Australia, I thought I’d share a recipe for a salad. Salads are one of my favourite ways to eat – they are versatile in flavour, and such a great way to eat a variety of food - which not only helps to ensure we meet all our nutrient requirements, but also supports a diverse gut microbiome. I don’t usually follow recipes for salads (writing one down was quite a challenge for me!). I find if I use a base of greens, add in some roasted vegetables or whole grains, a sprinkle of nuts or seeds for some crunch, a few fresh herbs and a good dressing I have a guaranteed winner. So, feel free to add or omit ingredients to the recipe below to suit your taste buds – and what you have in the pantry! This salad works beautifully as a side to some roast meat, or as a meal on its own. It’s nutrient dense and best of all; delicious!
Green vegetables are one of the most important foods to include in our diet because they provide us with a myriad of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phyto nutrients, fibre, prebiotics – the list goes on and on! Rocket belongs to the family of “bitter greens” which also help to support our digestion and our liver function. Quinoa is a fantastic quasi-grain (meaning, technically it’s a seed), and is one of the only plant-based sources of complete protein. I usually cook mine in home-made chicken broth for some extra nutrition, but salted water is perfectly fine as well – just simmer it up in about double the water, it cooks in about 10-12 minutes. Fresh herbs are absolute powerhouses of nutrients – and flavour, and onions are a terrific source of prebiotics (which basically means they are food for our healthy type of gut bacteria).
½ cup cooked quinoa
2 beetroots, chopped and roasted in olive oil & salt & pepper
1 ½ cups of rocket
1 cup loosely packed parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup loosely packed mint, roughly chopped
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, finely sliced
1/3 cup tamari almonds, crushed
225 gm haloumi, sliced and fried
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper