Summer quinoa salad with nuts and seeds
All around Europe we are suffering the high temperatures, the heat wave has hit us hard this summer and the last thing you probably want to do is spend time in a steaming kitchen, am I right or am I right? Well, here is a recipe which requires almost no cooking, just a brief easy-peasy prepping and then some cooling time in the fridge to allow flavours to soak. In fact, the only cooking required is to boil the quinoa, which takes about 10 minutes – if you can really consider that cooking -. This is absolutely perfect for a day at the beach, pool side, park, picnic, you name it!
To top it off, this tasty recipe is completely vegan, but packed with protein and tons of good nutrients, fresh and delightful, and it will not sit heavy in your stomach while you melt in this heat. Let’s jump right into it!
I used the following amount for 3 people:
- 300g quinoa
- 2 big tomatoes, diced
- 2 avocados, peeled and diced
- 2 handfuls pumpkin seeds
- a bunch of pine nuts
- a few fresh mint leaves
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Boil the quinoa at medium heat in double the amount of water (300g = 600ml). I like it slightly crunchy, so I usually take it off the heat a few minutes after it starts boiling and strain it through a sieve. Allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- If you have a blender, blend together the mint leaves, the lemon juice and the olive oil. You can also use a mortar and pestle. The idea is to really mash up the mint leaves into a sauce. Don’t use too many leaves though, you don’t want the flavour to be overpowering. 4-5 big leaves will do the trick.
- In a big salad bowl, combine the cold quinoa, tomatoes, avocados, and the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Stick it in the fridge for half an hour to allow the flavours to deepen.
- Once it’s nice and cool and you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, and serve.