When it comes to salad, it is common for people to think about green leaves, cucumber and tomato slices! I love salad, and often a large bowl of salad is my lunch.
However, I always use the following systematic when preparing my salad bowl:
1. Many colors: I include many colorful vegetables such as pumpkins, butternut squash, sweet potatos, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, etc.
2. Grains and/or legumes is a MUST to provide satiety and protein: beans, chickpeas, corn, quinoa, lentils, peas, rice, soybeans, etc. And nothing canned, processed or artificially seasoned.
3. A source of vegetable fat, preferably unprocessed: avocado, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, etc.
4. I always add dark green leaves to bulk it up and increase the amount of fibers: romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, watercress, arugula, etc.
When preparing my my salad bowl, I always try to include a variety of the items listed above. Almost every day I have a big bowl of salad that includes spinach or cabbage, romaine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, red or yellow peppers, cucumber, carrots and seeds. I seasoned with olive oil or avocado. I mix everything and add some option from item 2 of the list above.
In today’s recipe I used quinoa as a base. Although this salad was very pretty and complete, I had it with bunch of raw spinach and chunks of red pepper to add more nutrients and color to my lunch.
This salad is a great option to keep in the fridge for when hunger hits or to take with you to work or school.
- 1 cup quinoa (I used a mix of white and black quinoa).
- 2 cups of broccoli florets
- 2 cups butternut squash cut into small cubes
- 1 ripe avocado
- Salt and lemon to season
- Place the quinoa in a pan and add 2 cups of water (always use the 1: 2 ratio - one quinoa to two servings of water). When it starts to boil, reduce the heat. Let cook for about 15 minutes. The quinoa will be ready when the grains are transparent and all the water has dried out.
- On a parchment paper, spread the butternut squash cubes and bake for 25-30 minutes at 200 °C, or until they are soft and lightly browned.
- Cook or steamed the broccoli florets.
- Cut avocado into cubes and set aside.
- Salad bowl assembly: In a large bowl add the quinoa,the roasted butternut squash and the broccoli florets. Add salt and lemon, mix everything very well. Add the avocado and mix gently.
If you are preparing this salad to eat the next day, add the avocado only when you serve the salad. You can substitute quinoa for brown rice or lentils.