I’ve been hearing a lot about quinoa since I started working out regularly, it’s a super grain that’s been a big deal for wholefoods health buffs for a while now; in fact the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has just announced 2013 as ‘The International Year of the Quinoa’ (no, really, true story). The health benefits are amazing, which is clearly the reason this ‘lil grain is making such a big fuss. Quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wah’ (I have Lizzie of www.blueoctoberblog.com to thank for the pro-tip on pronunciation) is low in calorie content, but high in protein, making it a fab pre-workout lunch. The really amazing benefit though, is that unlike other grains, quinoa is gluten-free and anti-inflammatory, with a low glycemic index. Can you really afford not to be eating it?!
This is a really simple, healthy salad with plenty of tasty bits and the spicy kick from the harissa dressing makes it a perfect autumn lunch.
For the salad:
+ 40g quinoa per person
+ 1 block Halloumi cheese
+ 1/2 cucumber
+ large bunch of mint
+ handful cherry tomatoes
+ 1/4 red onion
For the dressing:
+ 1 tsp Harissa
+ 150ml natural yoghurt
Cook quinoa according to packet instructions. Check regularly to ensure it isn’t sticking. Meanwhile, chop all your salad ingredients up small and mix the harissa into the yoghurt.
Heat your pan to a high temperature. Halloumi sticks to everything – even some cheap non-stick coated pans. I was lucky enough to receive an Ozeri Earth Textured non-stick pan and have to say, it’s absolutely fantastic. Nothing sticks to it’s honeycomb patterned base, it’s easy to clean, high quality and best of all – contains no harmful chemicals or heavy metals often found in non-stick pan coatings. I was really impressed and have put the rest of the pan range on my Christmas list.
The quinoa shouldn’t need draining, just toss it up with the salad and coat in the harissa dressing. Add the halloumi pieces for the perfect hot/salty combination