You can swap the quinoa for different kinds of grains like bulgar wheat or spelt – I like to use a mix of grains usually. If raw beetroot is not your thing you can always roast wedges of it and add them in to the mix. Although adding the raw beetroot to the quinoa when it’s still warm will make it easier to digest.
The ingredients (serves 4)
- 200g quinoa
- 2 red onions, finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 small raw beetroots, grated
- Half a courgette/zucchini, julienne sliced*
- 1 carrot, julienne sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve
- Red chard leaves or other green salad leaves to serve
*Julliene peelers are my new favourite thing but if you don’t have one just grate the vegetables or use a regular potato peeler to make thin strips.
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, then put into a saucepan with about double the volume of water. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and gently simmer for 10 mins or until you can see the quinoa unwrapping itself. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, still covered, for 5 minutes.
- While your quinoa/grains are cooking, warm the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onions, coat them in the oil then cover and leave to cook gently for 10 minutes, or until very tender.
- Stir the balsamic vinegar into the onions, let it bubble, then remove from the heat and add the quinoa, lemon juice, grated beetroot, herbs and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve on the salad leaves with the thin strips of courgette and carrot and slices of avocado on the top.
- Sprinkle over a few more of the fresh herbs.
- You can add nuts and seeds, feta cheese, chickpeas, smoked tofu or whatever else takes your fancy!