During the summer months, when I really don’t feel like cooking at all, I like making big salads putting together whatever is available from the daily fresh produce markets – or, if I’m extra lazy, whatever I have in the fridge. But we all do that. What I always try to pay attention to, though, is what I throw in, i.e. all possible nutrients.
Here we have:
-quinoa (carbs + protein + calcium + iron)
-fava and string beans (carbs + protein + fiber + calcium + iron)
-carrot and cucumber (fiber + vitamin + potassium + water)
-peaches and raspberries (vitamin + sugar + fiber + water)
-tahini (fat + protein)
-basil (makes everything taste amazing).
By incorporating fruit and maple syrup in my lunch I won’t crave dessert afterwards!
All of this is mostly for 3 reasons:
1) to have a balanced meal,
2) to avoid feeling hungry after just one hour and start snacking,
3) to avoid eating ridiculous amounts of fruits after each meal (which then leads to bloating).
So yeah, I think salads are pretty cool! I usually make big batches and store in the fridge for the next days. Not to mention, beans are better digested together with carbs, so that’s always good to know. Also I’d never really eaten grilled fruit before but apparently it’s all the rave so I tried and I’m joining in! It gives it a smokey and even sweeter flavour.
I added a note at the bottom just in case you don’t like tahini in *sweet* dishes.
I wish you all a pleasant summer!
SUMMER SALAD WITH QUINOA AND GRILLED PEACHES
by Marta Giaccone
prep time: 10 mins, cooking time: 20 mins, total time: 30 mins
½ cup / 100 gr quinoa
1 cup / 250 ml water
200 gr / handful string beans, steamed
handful fava beans, fresh or cooked
1/3 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen thawed
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp tahini* (see note)
2 tbsp maple syrup
handful fresh basil
- Rinse the quinoa under cold running water, then add to a small pot along with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and let cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat (check with a fork that the liquid is fully absorbed and the quinoa doesn’t stick to the pot). Turn off the heat.
- Slice the peaches and brush each side with a tiny bit of olive oil. Heat up a non-stick grill pan. When it’s very hot, line all of the slices (don’t move them once they’re in the pan otherwise you won’t get those nice black lines!). Flip them over after about 2-3 minutes (check if they’re cooked with a fork). Set them aside.
- Wash and peel carrot and cucumber. With the vegetable peeler, shave off long ribbons and place in a bowl with cold water to prevent them to get dry (optional)
- To make the raspberry-tahini dressing blend together raspberries, tahini, juice of ½ a lemon and maple syrup(*).
- To arrange, I put the quinoa first, then added everything else: peaches, carrots, cucumber, fava and string beans, topped with the raspberry dressing, some more salt, evoo and lemon juice, plus fresh basil! Enjoy!
(*) tahini has a slightly bitter taste so you can omit it if you think you may not like it but the dressing won’t be as creamy. If you do, use 1 instead of 2 tbsp of maple syrup.