Teaming quinoa with sweet potatoes and some fennel, Gopi Chandran – Executive Head Chef at Sopwell House – has shared a healthy salad recipe, created for those that are opting for meat-free meals.
This colourful salad is not only meatless but it also has a complete protein and wheat-free grain, quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”). So no need to worry that you won’t be full or get in enough protein when making this divine salad. The fennel in this salad provides a light liquorice taste while the sweet potato creates some density, which all pairs perfectly together on a bed of quinoa.
This salad is also filled with some incredible nutrients as well as a good amount of roughage to give you the much needed fibre for your daily intake. The quinoa alone provides a decent amount of good carbs. Some of the nutrients in sweet potatoes include the following, making it a must have vegetarian dish:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
Chefs Tip for this Quinoa Salad
When working with the lemon make sure to remove the pith to avoid adding bitterness to your fresh and fragrant salad. Not sure how to remove the pith or even what it is? It’s simpler than you think.
- 4 tbsp Olive oil,
- 1 Sweet potato diced
- 2 Medium fennel bulbs cut lengthways into ¼ inch thick slices
- Maldon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 20 ml Fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 200 g Quinoa rinsed
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Red chilli chopped and deseeded
- 10 g Fresh coriander chopped
- 10 g Fresh mint chopped
- 15 g Fresh dill chopped
- Small pomegranate seeds from ½
- Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the fennel and season with salt and pepper. Cook for around 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is just tender and lightly golden. Add the lemon juice, and sugar. Stir through and cook for a further minute. Season with salt and pepper and set to one side.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Drizzle the sweet potato with olive oil, sea salt and cumin. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and 700ml water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and reduce to a low simmer for around 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Drain and return to the pan. Let the quinoa sit in the pan covered for 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork and transferring to a large bowl.
- Remove the peel and white pith from the lemon. Cut between the membranes to release the segments. Discard the membranes and roughly chop. Add the chopped lemon with its juices to the cooked quinoa along with the remaining oil and stir. Add the fennel mixture, sweet potato, chilli, and herbs. Gently incorporate and season with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a bowl or platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.