Sweet Potato, Quinoa & Feta Salad

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A tasty and filling winter salad…

◊ Make as a light supper then get a couple of lunches out of it the following days.

◊ A high fibre, nutrient dense salad powered with plant protein & iron.

◊ Rocket leaves and apple cider vinegar enhance digestion whilst quinoa, onion & seeds are prebiotic which means they support your gut health.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ tsp paprika (optional)
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 + ¾ cups vegetable stock
  • 4 fistfuls rocket leaves
  • 100g feta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2tbsp. red/pink onion – very finely diced
  • 2tbsp. toasted seed mix (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower seeds)
  • 1 tbsp. dried cranberries

 Dressing (whisk to together in a cup)

apple cider vinegar twitter

Method

  • Set oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bit sized cubes.
  • Toss with the olive oil & paprika and spread out evenly on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for approx. 20-25 mins, tossing half way through. Remove from oven when tender and caramelized and allow to cool.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, rinse the quinoa under cold water in a sieve then add to a pot of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then simmer uncovered for approx. 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, cover pot with a lid then allow to sit for another 5 mins. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  • Add the quinoa to a large salad bowl, stir in the finely chopped onion followed by the sweet potato. Pour the dressing over and mix to combine. *Throw in the rocket and toss the ingredients together with your hands. Top with cubes of feta and sprinkle with the seeds mix and dried cranberries.

Notes: This salad can be served warm or cold and keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days. *If you plan to get a few days out of this salad, then you could add fresh rocket to each serving as you go instead of mixing it in from the start.

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Elsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

QUINOA & CHORIZO STUFFED ROASTED PEPPERS WITH FETA, AVOCADO & GREEN SALAD – MAIN

When it comes to making healthier food choices, flavour can make a huge difference to your success. Enjoying and feeling satisfied by your meals means you’re less likely to feel deprived.

This recipe is inspired by Spain and South America. Whilst I don’t recommend overdoing cured meats, a little does go a long way. Just be sure to choose a really good quality chorizo sausage with no sulphites (preservatives) or E numbers (the alternative is to leave it out and add a teaspoon of smoked paprika and extra diced vegetables such as tomatoes instead).

Bell peppers have high concentrations of antioxidants.  Just one will provide more than twice the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and almost 75% of recommended daily vitamin A. When it comes to weight loss, its important to get the most nutritionally dense food possible and at only 37 calories per serving, bell peppers provide a wide range of essential nutrients.

Black quinoa is a protein-rich seed originally cultivated in Colorado (the original quinoa hails from the Andes in South America). It is especially abundant in essential minerals, and is grain and gluten-free which is good news for people with celiac.

I’m serving these delicious stuffed peppers with a little crumbled cool Greek feta cheese, unctuous avocado and a light green salad of just rocket leaves and diced cucumber.  Feta is traditionally made from a combination of sheeps and goats milk and is often less inflammatory and allergenic than cheese made with cow’s milk.

Enjoy this dish as a light lunch for 4, or if you’re extra hungry, as a main meal for 2-3 people.

(serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp melted coconut oil*
  • Half a medium white onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 100g good quality chorizo sausage
  • 80g uncooked black quinoa (makes approx. 1.5 cups cooked volume)
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli flakes
  • 2 whole red bell peppers, sliced in half (lengthwise), seeds & white pith removed
  • 50g greek feta cheese
  • 1 medium-sized avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 4 large handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 100g cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Basil pesto (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment. Put the pepper halves onto the parchment and drizzle with a little melted coconut or olive oil.
  1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  1. In the meantime melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the onions reduce the heat slightly and sweat for 5 minutes.
  1. Dice the chorizo sausage and add to the frying pan with the onions. Continue to cook on a low heat so the onions take on the colour of the chorizo.
  1. Once the quinoa is cooked, drain any excess water and add to the onions and chorizo. Add the chipotle chilli flakes and lightly season with a pinch of sea salt. Sauté over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  1. Remove the quinoa from the heat. Pile the mixture into each of the pepper halves. Cover lightly with foil and put into the oven for 35 minutes (remove the foil after 20 minutes).
  1. Prepare the toppings and salad: peel, de-stone and slice the avocado (squeeze juice of half a lemon onto the avocado to stop it from going brown). Set aside. Crumble the feta cheese into a small dish and set aside.
  1. In a salad bowl add 4 large handfuls of rocket leaves and diced cucumber.
  1. After 35 minutes remove the peppers from the oven and carefully transfer them to a serving plate. Sprinkle the crumbled feta and the avocado slices over the peppers. Season with a little sea salt. Serve  with a teaspoon of basil pesto and a pile of green salad.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER ONE QUARTER SERVING (including toppings & side salad)
Calories Fat Protein Carbs Sugar Fibre
320 19g 12g 18g 6.5g 7g
A source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, calcium, phosphorous and Iron. Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Grain free.

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

*Ingredients available in LloydsPharmacy Stores