One of my favourite things about warmer weather is salads! But I am not talking a few limp lettuce leaves with some random chopped tomato and a bit of onion – say whaaaat IS that thing on the side of your plate in restaurants anyway?!! The token lettuce leaf and wilting salad when it clearly states on the menu: SERVED WITH SALAD! – some restaurants really need to up the game – seriously!! THIS is what a salad should look like; Fresh, lots of textures and subtle flavours, a beautiful selection of what you might find in your allotment (that bit is wishful thinking because I don’t have an allotment, just a tiny garden with some herb pots and a mint growth which is threatening world domination! that stuff grows SO quickly! Prepare to see mint in my forthcoming recipes!).
A salad can be a healthy balance of protein, carbs, fats and fibre with plenty of vitamins and minerals! It’s a really great way to eat healthily and get lots of whole foods into your diet.
Most weeks, I cook a big pan of quinoa, allow it to cool and keep it in the fridge ready for breakfasts (it’s great with fruit and yoghurt!), adding to soups to bump up the protein, to have with curry or to make a salad as I have done here! The same goes for sweet potatoes (although I wouldn’t eat them for breakfast, but go ahead if that’s your thing 😉 ), simply steam, then oven roast 2 big trays of sweet potatoes and you will have a few days worth for making meals in an instant.
The dressing is a delicious creamy mix of coconut yoghurt, turmeric, tahini, lime juice, olive oil and water to thin it down to a drizzle-like consistency – so good!
Add a handful of seeds for crunch and beneficial fats – a small handful goes a long way!
Lettuce, Quinoa, Sweet Potato & Mint with Tumeric Cream Dressing
- 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled, chopped into small chunks
- 1 cup dry quinoa or 2 cups cooked
- 4 large lettuce leaves washed, chopped
- 1/2 cup mustard cress
- 1 small handful fresh mint leaves washed
- 1 handful mix of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- 2 heaped spoonful's coconut yoghurt or use any yoghurt
- 1/2 lime - juice only
- 1 TBSP tahini
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 TBSP water add more for a thinner consistency
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Steam or boil the sweet potatoes for 5 or so minutes until they start to soften.
Drain the sweet potatoes, spread evenly on 1 or 2 baking trays, spray with cooking oil and roast in the oven for about 20mins until they become crispy and golden. Remove from the oven to cool.
Whilst the potatoes are cooking, rinse the quinoa and place it in a pan with double the volume of water. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for 15 minutes until cooked. Drain any excess water or add more during cooking time if needed. Leave to one side to cool.
Make the dressing by mixing all of the dressing ingredients together and adjust the water to reach a consistency of your liking.
Once the sweet potatoes and quinoa are cooked and cooled, build the salad by adding the lettuce, sweet potatoes and quinoa, seeds, mustard cress and mint, then either drizzle the dressing on top or serve in a small jug at the side.
You can make the dressing, sweet potatoes and quinoa up to 3 days before. Keep covered in the fridge.