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Speedy Salads

The Mindful Cook's Quinoa, Pomegranate and Goats Cheese Salad packs a healthy nutritious punch!

Quinoa, Pomegranate and Goats Cheese Salad

As we move into Autumn, I have a tendency to take salad off the menu and start thinking about chunky soups. However, lets eke out the summer just a little bit longer with this delicious Quinoa, Pomegranate and Goats Cheese Salad from The Mindful Cook.

Ingredients, serves 4

* 100g Quinoa

* 70g Pomegranate seeds

* 90g Red Onion finely chopped

* 50g Walnuts – crushed

* 100g Green Beans trimmed

* 75g Goats cheese crumbled

* For the dressing:

* 1Tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

* 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

* 3 Tsp Lemon juice

* 1Tsp Honey

Method

Wash the quinoa thoroughly in cold water, drain and toast lightly in a dry frying pan until the liquid evaporates. This makes sure you get a nice fluffy quinoa.

Once done pop it in a saucepan with 200ml water, a squeeze of lemon juice, pinch of salt and a drop of olive oil. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer. To steam my beans I place the green beans in a sieve, sit the sieve on top of the pan and pop a lid or a plate over the top to allow the beans to steam. You can do the same, or use a steamer if you have one. Cook and steam for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes remove the sieve with the beans in, run the beans under cold water and pop the top back on the pan of quinoa and continue to cook for a further 6 minutes turning the heat right down before turning off. Give it a taste and if it is still too nutty and needs a little longer, just keep the heat off and allow to steam a little more with the lid on.

Drain any remaining liquid from the quinoa and pop into a bowl, stir with a fork to fluff up. If serving straight away pop it in the freezer to cool down while you prep the veg and dressing.

Pop the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and honey into a sealed plastic container and give it a good shake to mix well. Chop up the beans into centimetre chunks.

Add the onion, beans, walnuts, pomegranate seeds to the quinoa and stir through so they are well mixed. Add a few twists of cracked black pepper and sea salt, and the dressing and mix through. Top with the crumbled goats cheese.

The Low Down on Nutrition in This Dish

group of ladies in white chef aprons

The combination of ingredients in this salad make it both colourful and fresh tasting, plus, it packs a healthy nutritious punch to boot. Here’s The Mindful Cook’s nutritional lowdown.

  • Quinoa, a grain that originates in South America, is a complete protein and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids we need. Unlike many grains, quinoa is low in carbohydrates and is very low GI. This means it will release its energy slowly, and won’t cause blood sugar spikes, making it a perfect alternative to rice for anyone who wants to feel full but keep blood sugar levels stable.
  • Walnuts contain both omega-3 and omega-6 oils and as such are a good plant-based source of these essential fatty acids. We shouldn’t shy away from fats! Low-fat diets have been great for the food industry to cash in on but not so good for the nation’s health. Fats are an important part of our diet. Our brains are made up of 60% fat and we need ‘good’ fats in our diet to remain healthy. Nuts, seeds and oils like Olive Oil are great sources.
  • Green beans add a good dose of vitamins and fibre and pomegranates, not only make it look stunning and taste great with the goat’s cheese, but they also provide a host of vitamins too.

Over the next few months, The Mindful Cook aka Josie Buck will be sharing with us some simple recipes with expert nutritional advice which will hopefully pep up your weekly meal planning.

You can find out more about Josie’s Food and Eating coaching retreats at www.themindfulcook.co.uk

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