This salad is amazing, this salad will change your life. I had an ah-huh moment the other week. I visited the Finders Keepers markets where I sampled a mega salad from Kate's Vegetarian Food Stall. (Can be found weekly at Jan Powers markets). It rocked my world. Risoni, quinoa, chickpeas each combined with their delicious accompaniments. Beetroot hummus and sweet potato falafel...oh my gosh. At this moment it made me realise that I would be okay with being a vegetarian. It would be alright if I never ate meat again because these flavour combinations awoke something inside me that I didn't realise was there. I had never felt this way about a salad before. I wanted to recreate one of these salads so badly, or at least find a similar recipe to devour and not feel guilty as the whole thing was good for me. I spent a good couple of hours searching for wholefoods, raw foods, vegetarian foods. I stumbled across Green Kitchen Stories and their Winter Pumpkin Millet Salad. So delightfully fresh but filling.
It makes me want to eat more healthy raw preservative free foods that are fresh and natural. My first time trying quinoa I was delighted, it will now be a regular in my kitchen pantry. Although I love my baked goods I acknowledged they are a sometimes food, I hope to share more fresh healthy meals with you, but don't get to worried as I will always have my sweet tooth! You can't tell me that this salad doesn't look amazing!
I swapped the millet for quinoa, added more lemon to the dressing as well as using a stick mixer to combine the dressing ingredients into a chunky yet silky herbal burst of flavour.
Quinoa and Pumpkin Salad
recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
1 cup raw quinoa
1/2 butternut pumpkin
100g raw hazelnuts
2 avocados, diced
1 small broccoli, cut into small florets
2 handfuls of purple grapes, cut in half
2 handfuls of baby spinach, shreadded
1 pomegranate, seeds
Chunky Herb Dressing
1 handful basil
1 handful parsley
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lemon, juiced
3-4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200c. Trim, peel and remove the seeds from the pumpkin. Dice into small cubes. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Coat with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 30mins or until soft and slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely.
The last 10 minutes of baking time, place the hazelnuts on a separate baking tray, sprinkle with salt and toast until skin cracks and browned. Remove and let cool slightly, rub between a rough cloth or kitchen towel to remove the skin. Chop coarsely.
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve with boiling water, then place in a large microwave save container with 2 cups of boiling water and cook for 10mins on high uncovered. Set aside covered for a further 10mins or until all the water is absorbed. Allow to cool completely. You can also substitute the boiling water for chicken or vegetable stock for more flavour.
To make the herb dressing combine all of the ingredients in a small food processor and process until silky. Mix dressing through the quinoa in a large bowl until all the quinoa is coated in the dressing. Gently mix in the rest of the ingredients and try hard to resist eating the whole bowl.