Thursday, May 17, 2012
hungry thursday: a hungry salad
Kale was on special at my local Tesco last week so I stocked up. It’s one of my favourite vegetables, one I hope to grow this summer. It’s such a pretty plant and is barely recognisable when chopped up in a sealed supermarket salad bag. I love that it’s so readily available in all the supermarkets though. It’s seriously SO good for you! It can be used anywhere you would use spinach or cabbage. You can even make pesto with it (which I have done, and recommend!). I even put it in my smoothies.
Lately I have started eating kale raw in salads, which works very well! Kale tends to keep longer than salad leaves too, so it's a win win situation for my grocery budget :)
A lovely partner for kale is this delicious curried quinoa mixture. I discovered Jemma’s excellent Curried Quinoa recipe a few months ago and have made it so many times and put my own stamp on it. The nuttiness of quinoa works so well with a curry flavour, and I love experimenting with the vegetables and other condiments I add to it - it tends to be whatever is in the cupboard or fridge but it's a really good recipe like that. The concept of this lunch is a bit similar to the Buddha Bowl I shared a few weeks ago, just a nice combination of flavours with whatever you have handy but that work harmoniously together. The fresh crunchiness of the kale and the creamy tang of the hummus also goes beautifully with it. It’s hard to believe that something so delicious is so healthy!
The curried quinoa keeps very well so I normally cook the whole package at once to make heaps leftover for lunches. It is wonderful on its own but you could also use it as a side dish; it goes very well alongside veggie burgers, braised tofu, a baked potato or a slice of beetroot tarte tatin.
Curried quinoa and kale salad
Originally inspired by Celery and Cupcakes
Makes about 6 servings
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons medium curry powder (or more or less depending on how hot you like it)
Dash of turmeric
Dash of cumin
Juice of 1 lemon, plus a bit of zest
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup walnuts or cashews (I prefer cashews but walnuts were all I had, it was still lovely!)
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
Fresh parsley, dill, mint or basil (if you have it)
Tiny, tiny bit of your favourite oil (I used oak smoked rapeseed – you only need a teaspoon, if that)
Fresh raw kale, as much as you like
Homemade hummus (I use this recipe)
Sunflower seeds or omega seed mix, to sprinkle
Boil the kettle. In a large saucepan place the quinoa and frozen vegetables and then pour boiling water over them, just enough to cover. I do this by sight, but I think it might be about 3 cups, maybe slightly less. You can use vegetable stock for extra flavour if you like.
Place the saucepan on a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Return to check how it’s going, stir and distribute the grains and then replace the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes if it needs it. Taste the quinoa to see if it’s cooked. It will still have some bite but will have a softness to it. All the liquid should be absorbed. Keep checking it, it can dry out and burn if you forget about it!
Once cooked, leave to cool slightly and then add the curry powder and turmeric. Mix thoroughly until the grain is coloured with the spices. Leave for a minute or two to cool and let the flavours out a little.
Add the lemon juice and zest, cranberries, nuts, grated carrot, fresh herbs and oil. Mix through until everything is combined. Taste for seasoning.
In a bowl place a handful or two of kale, then a portion of the curried quinoa on top. Place a generous dollop of hummus on top of that, then a handful of sunflower seeds. Finally, scatter some delicious olives over the top.
Quinoa is a wonderful thing to eat when you're really hungry (hence the title of this post) - it is a protein rich grain and keeps you full for hours!
What's your favourite way to eat quinoa? And are you a kale fan?