This week, I had been catching up on the blogs I follow and was reading a great post about bulgar wheat on Little Bit in London, a great foodie/London life blog I've been following for a while. In this post, Emm wrote about how she craved some quinoa (which I always have in my sundries cupboard, and I commented on where you can find it in London. It's really pretty common, and I get mine either online when I do an Ocado order, or in my personal favourite, Greensmiths in SE1 - a wonderful little independent supermarket I've blogged about on numerous occasions. You can also find it in some larger branches of Sainsbury's - they stock it in their 'free-from' aisle, plus it's usually stocked in health food stores.
Anyway, after reading Emm's post I decided to honour the wonderous Peruvian super-seed and make it the main feature of a crunchy, fluffy, deliciusly healthy salad. Usually I make my own version of a yummy cashew nut, sunflower seeds, pea and tofu quinoa salad with toasted sesame oil, a la the Crussh super healthy lunch chain's own healthpot, but I was looking for something a bit different - fresh and summery. Trawling the interweb I typed in 'quinoa salad' and hey presto, I found this amazing little recipe. I've adapted a bit, but I bet the original recipe's yummy, too.
Quinoa, Avocado, Cucumber & Radish Summer Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 avocados, peeled and diced
a healthy squeeze of lime juice
1/2 low-salt vegetable stock cube, dissolved in 2 cups water
10-12 chopped radishes (diced)
1/2 cucumber, diced
3 spring onions, finely chopped
3 tsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp. dried chilli flakes
handful fresh coriander, chopped
Put the rinsed quinoa on the hob on a medium-high heat and bring to the boil with enough water to just cover the grains. Add all the other ingredients to a bowl and mix gently, so as not to break up the avocado too much.
Once the quinoa has absorbed all of the stock, turn off the heat and fluff up with a fork. Leave to cool for a few minutes and add the toasted sesame oil to help separate the grains. Add the chilli, salt, pepper and toss in with the other salad ingredients. Mix gently, and add the olive oil and lime juice one spoonful at a time until you get the desired dressing. Garnish with the coriander and serve with some grilled or pan-fried chicken breast for a very tasty and healthy lunch or dinner.