Quinoa Tahini Salad

With a roasted cauliflower and a tahini dressing there's nothing not to like about this quinoa salad. On top of tasting so yummy and wholesome, the quinoa, nuts and tahini provide a great source of protein that will help you avoid the afternoon slump or late night cravings.


Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 200g quinoa
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 75g almond
  • 75g dates
  • 4-5 spring onions
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Dressing:

  • 60ml tahini
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

Salad:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Cook the quinoa, look at the cooking instructions on the bag as cooking times can vary. It generally takes about 30 mins simmering on a low heat. TIP: The less stirring throughout, the fluffier it will be!
  • Finely chop the cauliflower and place on a baking tray. Add the olive oil, cumin and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • Place the cauliflower in the oven for ~20mins.
  • Roughly chop the almonds, dates and spring onions.
  • When all ingredients are cooked, toss them all together into a bowl.

Dressing:

  • Add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk well.
  • Add to the salad and mix throughout.

Now it's ready to devour!

Nutritional Information:

Quinoa

  • It is known as a pseudocereal; although it looks and tastes like a cereal it is in fact a seed.
  • It is considered a complete protein. It is one of only a few plant foods that contains all essential amino acids.
  • Rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese, several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre.
  • Rich in the monounsaturated fats oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These have both been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar. These effects are particularly beneficial for diabetics and pre-diabetics.
  • Oleic acid – Studies suggest that oleic acid has a beneficial effect on cancer, autoimmune diseases and anti-inflammatory diseases.
  • ALA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid. It has been shown to decrease the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes) and may also stop/slow down the damage done by a variety of health conditions from HIV to liver disease.
  • Rich in the flavonoids Quercetin and Kaempferol. These potent antioxidants have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-depressant effects.

Cauliflower

  • High in fibre.
  • Rich in vitamin C and K.
  • Rich in a number of antioxidants– reduces oxidative stress and prevents cellular mutations that can lead to cancerous cells.
  • Contains indole-3-carbinol which has been shown to reduce the risk of breast and reproductive cancers.
  • Contains sulforaphane which is thought to be responsible for the lower risk of cancer associated with eating cruciferous vegetables.
  • Contains choline which is a ‘vitamin-like factor’ which aids sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.

Almonds

  • Great source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese
  • Great source of a number of B vitamins
  • Rich in folate which is vital for a healthy pregnancy.
  • Rich in riboflavin which helps with red blood cell production, body growth and to process carbohydrates.
  • Rich in niacin which is often used to improve cholesterol levels and lower cardiovascular risk.
  • Rich in thiamin which helps the body to process carbohydrates and protein.
  • Great source of unsaturated fats
  • The high levels of unsaturated fats are great to help ease inflammation (great post exercise) and may also improve cholesterol levels.
  • It might be an energy dense food but there is no need to avoid it
  • A review of 20 clinical trials showed no weight gain or even weight loss individuals consuming 1 -2 cups of nuts a day.
  • Possibly due to the amino acid arginine which may boost fat burning.
  • Consuming nuts considerably reduces the risk of developing diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

Tahini

  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Good source of thiamin (vitamin B1) – supports carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Provides significant amounts of phosphorous which is important for bone and dental health.

Cumin

  • Aids digestion due to activating our salivary glands in our mouth, stimulates bile production and can relieve stomach aches and gas. The essential oils it contains can act as a laxative and wound healer which is why it's a common home remedy for piles!
  • Rich in iron and vitamin C which improves immunity and can prevent anaemia.
  • It has been shown to have anti-cancer properties which may be due to it's own free radical scavenging ability or it's ability to enhance the livers detoxification enzymes.