Red quinoa salad with broccoli and beetroot

quinoa salad

I once got embroiled on a week-long discussion about when it is that you become a grown-up. The somewhat unsatisfactory conclusion was when you get a dog of your own. But these things are never black-and-white. There are definitely other milestones before buying a Jack Russell.

I’m certainly nowhere near grown-up territory, but then the odd thing occasionally happens which suggests that I might be getting dangerously close. I recently had a lengthy discussion about buying curtains. I cooked a really civilised Sunday lunch for my brother and sister last weekend. I have a pretty healthy relationship with Radio 4. And I’ve put together a little medicine tin with plasters and paracetamol in it. Pretty grown up, eh?!

….and then I acquired a salad bowl. Well, I was kindly given it. But all these little things distance me from university days of ravioli in a scratchety pan with a broken handle, and move me closer towards real-life, grown-up status.

salad bowl

In celebration of the new salad bowl we’ve made three consecutive salads. And in my opinion, this is the current winner. It uses the delicious superfood that is red quinoa - lots of protein, full of antioxidants etc. It’s a take on Leon’s Original Superfood Salad, but without alfalfa sprouts (?), and with beetroot and chicken….because my lovely flatmate Charlie needs feeding up in anticipation of the Marathon this weekend.

Jarful of red quinoa

Jarful of red quinoa

Ingredients (serves 3)
80g red quinoa
2 chicken breasts
1 head of broccoli
1 avocado
2 pre-cooked beetroot
150g feta
120g frozen peas
Little clump of fresh mint
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
[Dressing – 1 lemon juice : 3 olive oil]

1. Put the quinoa in a pan with double the amount of water to quinoa. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the quinoa starts to fluff up and sprout pretty little white tendrils.

2. Meanwhile, cut the chicken breast into strips. Pan-fry and set to one side.

3. Cut off the broccoli florets, and slice the stalk thinly. The stalk’s tasty too – don’t bin it! Boil, adding the frozen peas to the pan, so everything’s cooked.

4. Cut up the beetroot and avocado, and then toss everything together in a salad bowl (very important) with the feta crumbled in, mint and sunflower seeds. Serve the simple lemon olive oil dressing in a little jug on the side.

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