Friday 29 May 2015

Quinoa salad with beetroot and feta

I learned something new about quinoa - it is not a grain but is actually a seed! When cooked, quinoa seeds become soft and fluffy, with a slight crunch and a nutty taste, making it great for salads or as a side. Cooking quinoa is quite simple -rinse it and for every 1 cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water. Cook it for about 15 minutes until soft. Whenever I make quinoa, I add whatever vegetables or fruits I have, along with toppings like cheese, nuts, etc. You can basically add whatever you fancy. 

Quinoa is a very good source of protein and also several B vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and calcium. With a low gluten count, it is a great alternative for a grain-free diet and also fabulous for a lot of vegan recipes. Quinoa serves as a great packed lunch or even as a light dinner or as a side dish.

Serves 2-3


1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup corn (I used frozen corn - microwave with a tsp of water for a couple of minutes)
1/4 cup cooked beetroot, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup feta cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
Handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil


Put the quinoa in a saucepan with the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover and let it cook for 15 minutes or until it's cooked and all the liquid has been soaked.

In another pan, heat the oil on a low heat.  Add the cumin seeds and once they start to sputter, add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for a minute. Toss in the white part of the spring onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the corn and lightly stir.

Turn the heat off. Add the cooked quinoa, beetroot pieces, orange juice, parlsey and spring onion greens. Season with salt and pepper  and toss. Top with the feta cheese. 


Sunday 17 May 2015

Cauliflower egg fried "rice"

Cauliflower rice has gained a lot of popularity and for good reason. This low carb, paleo friendly, gluten free substitute is a great way to get some vegetables in your body. It also goes well with pretty much everything. I don't really mind cauliflower but Salil, who hates it, loves cauliflower rice and wipes his plate clean, which means it has cleared the acid test! So I am quite certain you can get your kids to eat it and love it too ;)

The basic idea is to pulse the cauliflower florets and cook for a couple of minutes - that's how easy it is. You can even microwave it. My favourite way of cooking it is making it into an egg fried "rice".

Serves 2


1/2 a head of cauliflower
2 eggs
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp soya sauce (or tamari for a gluten free version / fish sauce for a whole30 and paleo version)
Salt and pepper
Coriander for garnish


Whisk the eggs. Add the sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix and keep aside.

In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower florets to form a rice-like consistency. If you do end up over blending it, just call it cauliflower "couscous" ;)

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a wok. Add the eggs, scramble and cook for a minute or two or until cooked. Remove and keep aside.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the wok, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the cauliflower rice, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the soya sauce and toss together. Add the scrambled eggs. 

Sprinkle over the coriander for garnish. Serve!

Friday 8 May 2015

Overnight oats

If, like me, you are not much of a morning person and often end up rushing to work without having a proper breakfast, overnight oats is probably the best thing that could happen to you! I do manage to have a smoothie or a quick piece of toast or some fruit for breakfast but as soon as I reach work, I am starving again. Porridge is a great breakfast and keeps you fuller for longer but to be honest I have never really liked it and have found it quite boring. But overnight oats have really surprised me! They are quite simple to make - soak the oats in some liquid, overnight, and you have a ready to eat breakfast the next morning. Usually the mixture comprises of oats, milk and yoghurt but you could experiment with it as you like. 
For best results use rolled oats and leave them to soak for about 10-12 hours so they soften up well. 


1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup plain yoghurt (or lactose free coconut yoghurt for the vegan version)
Handful of blueberries and/or blackberries
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter (optional)


Stir the oats, milk, yoghurt, half the berries and 1 tsp of maple syrup together and place overnight in the refrigerator.

In the morning, add some healthy fats like almond butter, top up with the rest of the berries, drizzle over maple syrup and dive in! 

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