Roasted Vegetable & Feta Quinoa

Veg Quinoa

Oh quinoa, how I love you! Quinoa is always the answer when you’re after an easy to make, healthy dinner after a hard day’s work. In fact, for me, it’s always the answer even when I’ve had a lazy day. It’s the perfect base to salads or side dishes and barely a week goes by without me boiling up a batch.

Veg Quinoa

For the uninitiated, quinoa is kind of like couscous, but it’s much more nutritious, gluten free and its texture is much less dry and sandy. (Can you tell I’m not a couscous fan?) It’ll soak up the flavour of your dressing and sits happily with almost any flavour. Apparently you can even use it in baking, although I haven’t tested this theory yet! If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you really have to! Promise me you will, okay? (Pushy? Me? Never)

Veg Quinoa

Now that autumn has enveloped us, it’s time to fall back on some trusty and comforting roasted veg. It’s squash season right now and I beg you to make the most of it. Sure you can go with a boring old butternut squash, but why not hunt out something a little more exciting. Crown Prince, or in this case Onion squashes are simply incredible and a decent sized supermarket should stock them or something similar. They both have a slight hint of chestnut to their flavour and are frankly gorgeous simply sprinkled with dried thyme and rapeseed oil and roasted as a side dish, but here they work wonderfully in an autumnal salad. (continue reading…)

Charred Sweetcorn Salad

Corn salad 2

I’m not designed for this weather, London is scorching and I am melting. I don’t even have a week’s worth of summer clothes and my salad repertoire is sorely lacking. This has been exacerbated by the fact that I can’t bear to turn on the oven, as my flat is already hotter than the fires of hell.

Corn on the cob 1

Fortunately, I do have one go-to salad that I can’t get enough of. (Pardon my grammar, but I just couldn’t make that sentence sound right!) On the downside it does involve turning on a grill, but if you’re one of those lucky people with some outside space, a BBQ and someone who actually has a clue how to light it, you can get around that.

Corn on the cob 2

Alternatively, get a trusty tin of sweetcorn, I’m sure it would work here, but you’ll miss out on the charred flavour and the salad might lose some of its fresh vibrancy. If you can persuade yourself to put the grill on, I promise it’ll be worth your while!

Corn salad 1

The dressing is what really makes this salad. It’s packed full of amazing flavours, fresh ginger, honey and lime. It’s also fantastic with a bit of crushed garlic, but I find the flavour lingers a little too long for me and I’m always a little paranoid that I’ll still be stinky the following morning at work, despite excessive use of mouthwash.

Corn salad 3

As my recipes always seem to be, this is a hugely flexible dish. Avocado is utterly awesome here and if my local supermarket wasn’t so unreliable it definitely would have been present. You can also substitute the coriander for parsley or any other fresh herb that takes your fancy. Basically add in or take out whatever you like but please, please, please try the dressing!

Corn salad 4

Charred Sweetcorn Salad
Adapted from Shutterbean
2-4 servings

Ingredients:

2 cobs of sweetcorn
4 spring onions
1 yellow pepper
A handful of cherry tomatoes
A handful of coriander
1/2 a red chilli

For the dressing:
1-2cm of grated root ginger
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 clove crushed garlic (optional)
Salt & pepper

Put the grill on medium, grill the sweetcorn on all sides until golden and then put it to one side to cool until easy to handle.

In the meantime, make the dressing. Pop all of the dressing ingredients into a jam jar and shake until fully combined, easy!

Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the corn cobs. I tend to do this over a shallow bowl as it seems to minimise the mess. I’m all about minimising mess.

Put the sweetcorn into a large salad bowl with the dressing and give it a good mix. Now finely chop the pepper, spring onions and chilli and add them to the bowl. Halve the tomatoes and finely chop the coriander, chuck them in, stir it up and you’re done!

Enjoy, but don’t make my mistake of roasting new potatoes in this weather!

Corn salad 5