When it comes to the term “Healthy Eating”, most of our immediate reactions consist of the words “bland” and “really though?”. It’s not the most appealing of terms. Despite healthy eats having undeniable positive results on our body’s health, we all know there’s a stigma that lingers on what we assume healthy food tastes like- bland, tasteless, and boring.
But when we had the Declutter Your Mind & Life Workshop in my home a few weeks ago, we had a few attendees that were gluten intolerant. I wanted to rise up to the challenge of serving something gluten free, but super yummy. Because TD and I always believe in serving delicious food, whenever we host something.
It is all part of the MinimaLUXE lifestyle that we would like to promote. A luxuriously minimalist lifestyle, isn’t just about decor & conscious consumption, but also about eating healthy but delicious. I wanted to show workshop attendees that “healthy” doesn’t always mean “bland”.
I can’t believe how delicious this choco chia pudding is! Even the quinoa rice was deceptively delicious! What a wonderful first time to taste both! Yum!– liliansantos45
This is a favorite recipe in our home, on days that we don’t want to have meat. The recipe originally calls for Couscous, but since that has gluten we substituted Couscous with Quinoa.
Quinoa is a kind of grain that is gluten-free AND contains ALL nine essential amino acids; (See here: 11 Proven Health Benefits Of Quinoa) It’s pretty much a power grain! Now imagine using Quinoa as a substitute to your rice, or better yet, your salad. Yes, you heard us! This Quinoa Salad with Roasted Veggies and Nuts is super yummy and addictive, a great recipe to add to your homes’ regular menu!
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1/2 cup (75g) Almond Flakes, shelled pistachios, cashews or whatever nuts you have in your pantry
- 350g Peeled Carrots
- 2 Eggplants (or Zucchini)
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Cups (370g) Quinoa (or Couscous if you’re okay with Gluten)
- 425g Can Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
- 2 Spring Onions, Finely Sliced
- 1 Cup (50g) Coriander shredded (or fresh mint)
- 2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small dried chili, seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 cup (250ml) Chicken Stock
- 3 Fresh Bay Leaves
- 1/3 Cup (80ml) Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup (125ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cut the red bell pepper into large, flattish pieces, and remove the seeds and membrane. Cook, skin-side up, under a hot grill for 8-10 minutes, or until the skin blackens and blisters. Place in a plastic bag and leave to cool then peel away the skin and cut each piece into 1cm wide strips.
- Preheat the oven to moderate 180 degree Celsius (350 degree Farenheit/Gas 4). Spread the almonds on a baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly golden, then chop roughly. Keep a close watch on the nuts while they are cooking as they will burn very easily.
- Thinly slice the carrots and eggplant, and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Grill under a hot grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until olden.
- Place the quinoa in a large bowl. Cover with 2 cups (500ml) of boiling water, add the remaining oil and stir gently. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 5 minutes. Run a fork through the Quinoa to remove any lumps then add the almonds, chickpeas, bell pepper, eggplants, spring onion and coriander. Toss well.
- For the dressing, place the cumin seeds in a dry, heavy-based frying pan and gently toast for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from the pan and pound to a powder in a mortar and pestle, then mix with the garlic and chilli in a bowl.
- Place the chicken stock in a saucepan with the torn bay leaves and boil for 6 minutes, or until reduced to 1/3 cup (60ml) of liquid.
- Strain to remove the bay leaves and add the stock to the bowl with the lemon juice. Whisk with a fork. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper,
- You may toss the dressing gently through the salad if serving immediately, or we like to serve the dressing separately so people can put as much or as little as they want. Personally I love the taste of olive oil and tanginess of the lemon so I am very generous with the dressing.
So there you have it, this salad combines the delicious flavors of smokey roasted vegetables, toasted nuts, tangy healthy goodness of olive oil & lemon and freshness of herbs/spices. You need to try it at least once in your lifetime! It might convert you to eat more vegetable based dishes!
For busy moms, making a big batch of this is awesome because it keeps well and tastes even better up to a week or a week and a half after, if stored properly – I like to use glass lock containers because plastic containers can sometimes ruin the taste. This dish is perfect for entertaining or potluck because, you can prepare it ahead of time and it is great hot or room temperature.
If you try this recipe out, please let me know! You can tag me on Instagram or send us a DM at @undiplomaticwife @minimaluxe or mention that you first saw or tried this recipe in the @decluttermnl workshop! We would love to hear how it turned out for you!