SUMMER QUINOA SALAD
Although I don’t often eat grains, sometimes I like to have quinoa or amaranth to increase variety in my diet.
Quinoa has become a very popular alternative to rice and other cereals because is very versatile, gluten free and very nutritious. Technically it is a seed that has been used in south America for centuries, often called “mother of all grains”. It has all the 9 essential amino acids (the ones that our body cannot manufacture), and is also a good source of manganese, essential for bone health, magnesium, which support over 300 processes in the body, and quercetin, a phytochemical that as anti-inflammatory properties.
By adding an array of colourful vegetables, this summer salad can provide you with a variety of antioxidants, healthy fats and fibre to support overall health. As source of protein, I choose to include edamame and snow peas, to boost the vegetable intake even further. Consumption of soya products (like edamame) is quite controversial, because although has many health benefits, it is also one of the most genetically modified foods. Soya contains some phytochemicals known as isoflavones that have a weak oestrogenic effect, that can be beneficial to some individuals or disadvantageous to others. The key for me is to buy only organic soya and ask your healthcare practitioner if is suitable for you, before consuming large quantities.
Time: 25 minutes
-Handful of San Marzano tomatoes
-4 courgette flowers (optional but delicious)
-10/12 olives without the stone
-20gr roasted pistachio seeds
-1/2 purple onion
-1/2 cup edamame beans or chickpeas
-Hanful of snow peas (also known as mangetout)
-Handful pf parsley
Optional step: soak the quinoa in cold water for 6-12 hours, then rinse it and lightly toast it in a hot pan for couple of minutes. The soaking process helps to activate the enzymes in the seeds and makes the quinoa more nutritious. If you decide not to follow this step go straight to point 1.
1-Cook the quinoa in 200ml of salted water for 15/20 minutes, drain any excess of water and let it cool. Place it in a large bowl.
2-Chop all vegetables and parsley and add it to the quinoa.
3-Add salt, pepper, olive oil and the juice of half lemon. Mix well and serve.
It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.