I tend to eat quinoa salad in the same way all the time – with roasted peppers, mixed salad leaves, pine nuts and sometimes with low-fat cheese on top. This time I wanted to make it different – I wanted to make it taste amazing, full of flavour and extra nutritious. So I thought hard about what I could put in it to create an amazingly delicious dish.
My inspiration came from various sources, the main one being Marks & Spencer salads. I love Marks & Spencer salads as they are full of flavour and the combination of ingredients they use is just amazing. One weekend I had one of their salads which contained mint and Edamame soybeans and I thought it tasted great. I normally avoid anything with mint as I don’t like it but this time I realised that it goes very well with salads so I decided to buy some and use it in my quinoa salad.
I also wanted to use Edamame soybeans but I couldn’t find them in my local supermarket so I bought frozen broad beans instead. If you can find Edamame soybeans, use these, I love them in M & S salads.
To get this salad to come to live I also decided to use parsley, spring onions, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Results? One of the best salads I have ever made! Seriously, you need to try making this, I really love it and I am so happy how it turned out.
Just one thing to mention if you do try to make it, I never measure anything when I cook so the quantities below are only approximate. Make sure you use plenty of mint, parsley and lemon juice as these are the key to make quinoa full of flavour.
- 1 cup of quinoa
- small cup of frozen broad beans or edameme soybeans
- 3 spring onions, washed and chopped
- a handful of parsley, washed and chopped
- a handful of mint, washed and chopped
- 1-2 handfuls of pomegranate seeds
- lemon juice (freshly squeezed out of 1 lemon)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 vegetable stock cube
- a sprinkle of pine nuts
- salt if required
- Wash the quinoa and cook it in twice the water with vegetable stock cube for around 20 minutes or so. Water needs to evaporate completely before you take it off the cooker and let it cool down.
- Cook frozen broad beans for around 5 minutes, drain the water and let them cool down.
- Chop the herbs and spring onions and squeeze the lemon juice.
- Once the quinoa has coolled down, put it in a medium size bowl and add broad beans, chopped herbs and spring onions. Also add a handful of pomegranate seeds.
- Splash some extra virgin olive oil over the quinoa and add lemon juice.
- Gently mix all the ingredients together.
- Taste the salad and see whether you need to put more lemon juice, herbs or pomegranate seeds. It's really up to you and which flavour you prefer - use that more. However, when it comes to lemon juice you do have to put enough so that the quinoa doesn't taste so bland but also lemon juice works very well with all the ingredients together.
- Leave the salad to cool down and settle in the fridge for a while. Serve with with more pomegranate seeds on top and pine nuts.
- Depending on how much of quinoa you have cooked, this could be enough for 2 people. It's definitely more than enough for one person but you could eat the leftovers the next day.