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Quinoa and Butternut salad

Quinoa Salad Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 6 full stalks of cavalo nero
  • 2 shallots
  • 125g quinoa
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of mint

Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 dessert spoon of Pomegranate molasses
  • 2 teaspoons of Harissa paste
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 1 roasted garlic clove from above
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

quinoa and butternut salad recipe

Instructions

  1. Empty the quinoa into a sauce pan, with a stock cube and a squashed garlic clove and top with water. Bring to boil and cook to packet instructions. Usually around 15 minutes but make sure they aren’t too mushy, you still want a little bite to give texture. Drain and put to the side to cool when cooked.
  2. Peel the butternut squash using a potato peeler for ease and to save your fingers instead of using a knife.
  3. Slice into 1 inch thick disks, cut each disk into 1/8’s so they cook quicker.
    Drizzle with olive oil then use your hands to make sure they are coated well. Place on a baking tray and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Take 5 garlic cloves still in their skins and squash with the back of a knife. Place on top of the butternut squash spread out and place the butternut squash in the oven on around 200C for around 20-25 minutes.
  5. Halve and peel the shallots. Place on the baking tray with the squash after around 5 minutes of the squash being in the oven.
  6. Slice either side of the cavalo nero stalks so you are left with the leaves. I prefer cavalo nero instead of the ready cut bags of kale as they always have the thick stalks attached to the leaves and they take forever to remove compared to the whole cavalo nero leaves.
  7. Slice the leaves into 1 inch thick strips, coat with olive oil or fry light and add to the baking tray for around 10 minutes but keep checking as they can burn quite quickly depending on your oven.
  8. Remove the tray from the oven, checking that the butternut squash is cooked and soft. Set aside and leave to cool.
  9. In a bowl add the juice of 1 lemon, good glub of quality olive oil, the pomegrantate molasses, a cap full of red wine vinegar, harissa paste. Take a medium sized clove of garlic from the roasting pan with the butternut squash, remove the skin and crush on a chopping board, then crape with the end of the knife to make a paste.
  10. Add the roast garlic paste to the dressing, season with salt and pepper and stir. Taste and adjust the proportions of the ingredients to taste as some brands are stronger than others.
  11. After everything has cooled down, remove the roasted garlic from the tray and place the rest of the cooked ingredients in a large bowl.
  12. Empty the cooked and cooled quinoa to the bowl with the chopped parsley and mint and stir to combine.
  13. Drizzle the dressing over the top and continue to mix with a large spoon so that everything is equally mixed and coated in the dressing.
  14. Place in the middle of the table and dig in. This would feed two as a main with some meat such as chicken sausages that I paired with it or four people as a side dish with several other plates.

Moroccan Sausage and Potato Salad

Although it is spiced with Middle Eastern spices this wouldn’t be a typical Middle Eastern dish due to the use of pork that is widely forbidden for consumption due to religious reasons but I found the flavours work well myself.

This makes an easy lunch for work or would work really well as a side dish for BBQ for a healthy alternative to potato salad smothered in mayo. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Heck 97% pork sausages
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 4 medium sized potatos peeled and cubed
  • 1 packet of feta cheese cubed
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 chilli diced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • za’atar seasoning
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Grate the garlic and add the juice of a lemon to a small jar. This will cook the garlic slightly and make it a bit more mellow compared to its raw state.
  2. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water till done (You could also use leftover potatoes that have cooled down)
  3. Cook the sausages according to instructions and let cool.
  4. Cook the Chickpeas and let cool.
  5. When the cooked ingredients have cooled add them to a large bowl and add the garlic and lemon, red onion, chilli, tomatoes and feta then mix to combine.
  6. Add a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and mix again.
  7. Add a teaspoon of Za’atar seasoning and season with extra bit of salt and pepper to taste then give it one last mix to combine the seasoning with the rest of the dish.
  8. Add more Za’tar if the ingredients are not covered enough and even an extra sprinkle of sumac if you have any. I got both from Tesco from their own brand.
  9. Put in the fridge to chil and bring all the flavours together for a few hours or overnight for the following day.