Since I still didn’t shed all of my maternity weight one of my new years decisions was most definitely to speed it up so I can get my Spring fashion going!
What I am trying to do is to avoid dinner and not to eat after 6pm, I have to say I haven’t managed to work out daily as my boyfriend is traveling frequently but I did loose bread from my menu as well as sweets and the rest of the ‘bad’ carbs and saturated fats.
This salad fits right into my diet and it’s also a great, protein rich meal for my athlete boyfriend. People who are not accustomed to cooking with quinoa are sometimes afraid to try but it’s really super easy to cook. You just rinse quinoa and cook it in double amount water and that’s it!
The great thing about quinoa salad is that it’s easy to make and it keeps longer then green leaf salads and it actually fills you up even without bread and can serve as a full meal. It’s really easy to customize so if you want you can also really put any veggies you like into it you don’t have to do the ones I listed below. You can easily play with adding grilled chicken to it if you can’t live without meat, otherwise this is a great vegetarian dish as well.
1/3 cup of well rinsed quinoa
1 small eggplant diced in small pieces
1 zucchini sliced or diced in bite size pieces
1/2 of medium squash (or you can use 1 sweet potato)
1 cup of halved grape tomatoes or diced regular tomatoes
2 tbsp of fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp of fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoon of pine nuts or sunflower seeds, toasted
Crumble feta cheese (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
juice of 1 medium lemon
1 clove of garlic pressed
1. Preheat oven to 220C/425F. Put the diced vegetables in large bowl and sprinkle with 2tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
2. Line two large baking dishes with baking paper. Divide the vegetables on two large baking dishes in a way that you have enough space in between them and it’s not packed otherwise some pieces might come out raw. Bake on second and third rack of the oven together for about 20-30minutes, after 20 minutes check to see if soft and beginning to brown, if not leave a bit longer. Set aside to cool.
3. Cook quinoa by rinsing it first in water and then cook 1/3 cup of quinoa in 2/3 cup water (use double the water of what you have quinoa) and bring to boil on medium high temperature. Cover and reduce temperature to low and cook for another 15 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool a bit.
4. Toast the seeds (pine nuts or sunflower seeds) on a hot pan (medium high) for about 5-10 minutes or until they get brown color or you can smell the fragrance. Set aside.
5. Wisk together in the salad serving bowl pressed garlic and lemon juice lightly, slowly poor 2 tbsp of olive oil and continue mixing into coherent mixture. Add to it sliced tomatoes, quinoa, washed and cut into pieces fresh basil and mint leaves, add roasted vegetables and toasted pine nuts. Season all with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese, toss well and try it. If you want it more zesty add another squeeze of lemon.
This fabulous salad serves great as a side dish with meat for lunch or dinner or you can eat it as a meal on it’s own. Keep it in the fridge up to 3 days.
Bon appetite my ladies!
Katarina Štimac, fashion blog – LaKatwalk