This salad boasts crunchy elements, soft elements, tangy and creamy elements. An all round superstar I say. And my go to weekly lunch during Sunday’s food prep.
Now I am not a big meat eater so this salad on its own is fine for me, I get my protein quota from the quinoa, but if you feel chuck in some meat! Chicken goes quite well or Turkey if you are looking for a leaner white meat. Red meat I am unsure of because let’s face it, not my thing!
I have used Jap or Kent pumpkin in this recipe as according to Monash Universities FODMAP friendly app kent pumpkins are easier to digest than the beautiful and creamy butternut.
One of the most exciting vegetables in this salad is the capsicum of course! So crunchy and hydrating. I often choose a yellow or red capsicum for my salads as they are slightly more mature than their green counter part meaning they provide a sweeter taste and more vitamin C.
Happy salad making!
Makes: 3 Large Salads or 5 Small Salads.
Prep Time: 30 – 45 minutes
- 300grams Japanese / Kent Pumpkin
- 1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1/4 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
- 1 Medium Yellow or Red Capsicum
- 2 Sticks Celery
- Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Cob of Corn
- Australian Feta or Haloumi – It’s up to You!
- Roasted Almonds or Candied Walnuts (recipe coming soon!)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil (for bulking out and it’s cheap)
- 1 Tablespoon Avocado Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Mustard Seeds
- 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Glaze
- 2 Teaspoon Rice Malt Syrup or Honey
- 1 Teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (345 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Remove the skin of the pumpkin, or keep it on, whatever you feel, and cut into 2cm x 2cm blogs (roughly, please no ruler✋) and place into an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some Himalayan salt on top to bring out the flavour. Next pop the tray into the oven for about 15 minutes or until soft
- While the pumpkin is cooking it is time to prep your quinoa! Pop the uncooked quinoa in a microwave safe bowl and rinse with water twice to remove the bitter shell enzymes – a strainer during this process works wonders! Fill the bowl back up with enough water to cover the quinoa (around 2 cups) and microwave for 5 minutes. Stir the quinoa and scrape down any little escapees from the side and cook again for a further 5 minutes.
- Once the quinoa is cooked let it sit in the water on the counter for 10 minutes, I find this step helps it become a little softer as it absorbs more water. This step isn’t necessary. You can now drain your quinoa and allow it to cool down on your bench!
- Your pumpkin should be well and truly cooked by now. Remove it from the oven and leave on the kitchen counter to cool as you prep your other ingredients.
- This is where you can practice your Master Chef chopping skills. Halve your grape tomatoes, cut the capsicum into strips and chop your celery however you feel, this is a free country after all! Pop all these ingredients into a container on top of your spinach ready for the cooked ingredients.
- Cook your corn in the microwave for 2 minutes and once cool enough to touch, run your knife down each side to remove the corn from the cob. Let the corn cool a little further so it doesn’t wilt your spinach when you pop it in your salad!
- In a medium spill proof container dump all your salad dressing ingredients.
- Close the lid and…
- Shake it like a polaroid picture!
- Now you can either store this in the fridge and use as you feel but I like to pour it in the salad and let it sit during the week. Your choice! As long as you eat it within the week you wont have any issues, because after that the spinach will start to decompose. Ew.
Ps. All the while I am cooking my pumpkin I am making some hard boiled eggs for a breakfast protein hit during the working week! I find this quite handy as the 10 minute time is a good reminder to toss my pumpkin during roasting!
Enjoy your new delicious nourishing lunch! And please if you have a moment I would love to hear your thoughts <3 Get in touch!