Its a constant challenge to feed a family in such a way that is fun and healthy. As A chef I have to constantly fight the urge to fall back on the chefs advantage of being able to use high fat/high sugar and bazaar expensive products. This is family food and needs to be nutritious, tasty and fun, otherwise everyone gets bored. If we can continue to make meal time a fun, family time we’ll, hopefully, never lose the ability to all talk around the table.
The trick with this meal is the Quinoa, that truly amazing South American grain that is so astonishing good for us. This is one of the oldest sources of plant protein and thanks to the Spanish conquerors, was so nearly lost to history. Thankfully in the high Andes some was secretly grown year after year and was rediscovered for the rest of us about 50 years ago.
Quinoa Salad with Roast Vegetables & Halloumi
1 red capsicum, chopped roughly
1 yellow capsicum, chopped roughly
1 red onion, sliced
1 courgette, sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped roughly
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup quinoa (pronounced ‘keenwa’)
Salt & pepper
1 cup spinach, chopped roughly
150g haloumi cheese, grilled until golden brown
Vinaigrette dressing (see below)
Roast chopped vegetables (except spinach), garlic and olive oil in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 30 to 40 mins until golden brown.
Meanwhile, wash quinoa with cold water in a sieve and squeeze dry in a clean tea towel. Place quinoa in a pan, place over a medium heat and dry fry until lightly toasted. Cover with boiling water and simmer gently until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 12 minutes.
Remove vegetables from oven and add to quinoa with spinach and seasoning. Add dressing and mix well. Place in a bowl with grilled haloumi on top as a garnish and serve.
½ tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
50ml red wine vinegar
50ml balsamic vinegar
100ml hazelnut oil
100ml avocado oil
100ml olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
6 turns white pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blitz for 60 seconds. Strain through a fine sieve.