Quinoa tabbouleh-style salad

Food blogging is a myth. I’ve only just realised it but people go to food blogs for reasons completely apart from the food. In fact, I’ve continually skipped over the actual recipes from my favourite food blog, Recipe Rifle, for the past few years. It’s a fairly bare-bones type of site with pretty average photos but the writing is hilarious. Every time I read it my girl crush on Esther Walker grows more creepy and my day is a little more wonderful. Then there’s the polar opposite, there are the blogs with beautiful photos and the girl behind it usually has an incredibly moving story and she’s unrealistically pretty. But actually it’s completely realistic because she only eats raw/vegan/paleo/locally produced/insert-trend-here food. These types of sites are also wonderful because they promote healthy living and get people to think about food but I’m not sure people actually make the recipes. I went out for dinner last night with some friends and we spent a while praising a particular food blog before someone asked, “has anyone actually made any of the recipes?”. We all sort of shook our heads and eventually someone piped up with, “my friend did… once”. To be fair both of these versions of “food” blogs are great, I love a good hit of funny and also a pretty picture of a smoothie near a pie and some strewn chia seeds. The problem though is that it puts a crazy amount pressure on food bloggers. Not only do you have to think about how to express yourself but you need to take foodporn-y type photos and then, on top of allll that, you need to be able to cook?!

I naively started this blog thinking I’d just make some recipes, offer up some verbal diahorrea and snap a quick pic. Clearly, I am not very self-aware because I forgot that I happen to be an incredibly obsessive and competitive person. It’s a killer combo. I’ve been sort of stumbling my way through this but I’ve already learnt basic bits of coding – coding, how ridiculous! AND I’ve started putting dishcloths behind my super-healthy-vegan-locally-produced-whole-food quinoa. Baby steps at the moment for sure, and there’s clearly still a long road ahead, but I guess this was just a long-winded way of saying, “for some reason I put a dishcloth that was mostly dirty behind a plate of quinoa because society told me to” and I’m sorry for any comma splices. Anyway, here’s a recipe which I really like and the two boys I ate it with sort of liked (“where’s the cheese? where’s the meat?” etc). In actual fact I did end up serving this as an accompaniment to a harissa roasted chicken with some roasted butternut squash. I would also suggest cheeses like halloumi or feta if you want a more substantial salad but I really like the simplicity of this, especially alongside some grilled lamb or chicken. What made the dish so pretty was these tiny little red amaranth micro leaves, which have a kind of beetroot/grass flavour and you should be able to find in Wholefoods. The next day I used the left-over quinoa, some left over squash, a few more spring onions, parsley and a good helping of tahini together and had an incredible salad for lunch (pictured below).

 

Leftover quinoa salad with butternut squash and tahini

Leftover quinoa salad with butternut squash and tahini

 

Ingredients (serves 3 as a side, 2 as a main)

100g red quinoa

100g pearl quinoa

400g chicken stock or water

4 radishes

1/3 cucumber (skinned and seeded)

4 spring onions

1 preserved lemon

1 bunch flat leaf parsley

1 bunch mint

1/2 fresh lemon

1 long glug of extra virgin olive oil

1 big pinch of salt

1 small pinch of pepper

1 small handful of red amaranth leaves (optional)

1/2 red chilli (optional)

 

Screenshot 2014-09-10 15.35.08

 

Method

  • Fill a small pan with the chicken stock and quinoa. Boil for around 13 minutes but be sure to check the back of the packet as some quinoa has different cooking times.
  • Meanwhile, halve the radishes lengthways then finely chop into half-moons. Chop the cucumber and slice the spring onions. Finely chop the parsley, mint and preserved lemon.
  • Wait for the quinoa to cool and then assemble and toss the ingredients. Right before serving dress with the olive oil and the juice of half the lemon. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
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10 Comments

  1. Pingback: Salted caramel, chocolate ganache, hazelnuts | Stop! Food!

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