Having been gorging a little on totally delicious and bum enhancing (not in the good way) food at a wonderfully elaborate thanksgiving dinner this week, I figured it was time to have a wander down the healthy path and say hello to some superfoods. Obviously i'm going to sneak a little cheese into my handbag (actually a hemp backpack would probably be more apt for this journey).
Its such a beautiful combination of foods with far too many deliciously strong and absolutely necessary flavours, that I struggled a little on the title. I don't want to scare away those of you who enjoy indulgence but at the same time need to let the superfoodies know I've got their backs.
I can also let you know that this is safe man-territory. It's filling and delicious. As well as beautiful. I was losing light at the time due to having far too much fun picking my own chard (so the photos might not show you quite how colourful the dish is but I can assure you, it's pretty.
Quinoa salad with glazed balsamic carrots and halloumi
Quantities: Serves 2-3 (depending on portion size)
Timings: 40 mins
Kitchen Stuff: baking tray, non stick frying pan, nice bowl
3 large carrots, chopped into batons
balsamic vinegar (aged and thick if possible)
dark soy sauce
chilli flakes (if you fancy, not imperative)
large bunch of rainbow chard, stalks and leaves chopped and separated
3/4 cup tricolour quinoa (I used a mug)
1 1/5 cups water (again, used a mug)
1/2 teaspoon bouillon powder
half a block of halloumi, sliced into 1/2 cm slabs
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
1. BALSAMIC GLAZED CARROTS: Put your carrots on some foil in a baking dish and drizzle with about 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon olive oil. If it's not enough then add some more but you don't want too much liquid. Season with salt and pepper and toss them around. Put in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until starting to go a bit crisp and brown on the edges but still have some bite and are not burning (I can't stand mushy carrots).
Measure out your 3/4 mugful of quinoa and rinse under cold water in a sieve for a minute or two (this is important so the quinoa doesn't taste bitter). Add to a saucepan with the water, some salt and half a teaspoon of bouillon powder (adds flavour) over a high heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Test it to see along the way but don't burn your mouth.
Season with salt and pepper and keep cooking until wilted and cooked through but not too much, you still want a bite to it.
5. BUILD IT: Start layering up your salad starting with the quinoa, then carrots, then rainbow chard. Drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and set aside. Halloumi is most delicious eaten straight after it has been cooked so make sure you have your salad as ready as possible before cooking the halloumi.
Pop them on the salad, sprinkle with the crunchy seeds and serve right away!