What I love about this recipe is that it’s crazy easy and you can make a big batch for enjoying all week long. Easy (and entirely whole food) lunches, done. It’s also a crowd pleaser when we contrtibute it to a shared table or barbecue with its crunchiness and lemony, garlicky zing.
The Quinoa, Barley or Buckwheat
If you happen to live near a co-op get whatever you can get in bulk or package-free – quinoa, barley or buckwheat work well. I prefer using the yellow quinoa because it goes a little less mushy.
Always wash them before cooking and do the best you can not to overcook them. I do them all by evaporation, and will explain below. They pack a high nutritional punch and give the salad a nice filling, bulkiness with the heavy of other grains. Quinoa adds protein to your day.
The Olive Oil
Virgin Olive Oil brings healthy fats, bio-active antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties into the body which in turn provide multi-faceted benefits from anti-ageing effects to helping prevent heart disease, strokes and weight gain, Type 2 Diabetes and even the Big C (to name just a few).
Some of these ingredients I almost always have in my pantry – like fresh garlic for example. I keep it in an open tin on the bottom shelf with onions and sweet potatoes. They all stay fresher longer that way than in the fridge as long as the cupboard isn’t hot or moist.
Carrots are a staple that I always have hanging around or growing in the kitchen garden. Silverbeet is relatively easy to grow in your garden also if you have the inclination. They both have multiple benefits and eating them cut up finely but raw is not only delicious but the best way to get the nutrients out of them also.
Add any other vegetables you have on hand, you can finely chop raw broccoli florets into a kind of powdery consistency. Celery, green beans or capsicum can also work well. Use up whatever is lying around – but it keeps best if you use the harder vegetables as opposed to, say, tomato which has a shorter shelf life once chopped up.
I recommend keeping all the odds and ends and peelings in a tub in the freezer. Once the tub is full you can use them to make broth. Click here for the broth recipe. If not that, then at least compost them.
Crunchy Quinoa + Silverbeet Salad
1 cup of quinoa, barley or buckwheat
2 cups of water
2 medium to large carrots, peeled and diced into small cubes or triangles (peels set aside)
1 small bunch of robust green leaves like silverbeet, kale or rainbow chard, shredded (stems set aside)
1 cup of sweetcorn niblets (as in, removed from the cob)
2 spring onions, sliced finely
Any other crunchy vegetables you have on hand, finely chopped, to taste
1/4 cup of Virgin Olive Oil
Tablespoon or so of chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the grain thoroughly and add to a medium sized pot – one that has a lid. Cover with water by about 1-2 centimetres (usually double the amount of water to the amount of grain). Bring to a low simmer with the lid on until the water absorbs. Usually ten to 15 minutes or so.
- In the meantime, chop the veges and put aside the scraps.
- Once the water has absorved and the grain is cooked, strain and rinse it thoroughly in cold water then set aside to dry out a little.
- Combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl or container.
- Combine dressing ingredients and keep seperate if you’re going to keep some of the salad for a few days. It will keep better without the dressing on it.
- Dress to and toss well to serve.