Salads aren’t just for summer even though they tend to feature more heavily when temperatures soar and few want to linger cooking in the kitchen. But there are some great autumn and winter ones, and I think warm ones especially bridge the divide between the seasons. I am also very mindful that some of my visitors and followers are also enjoying different weather and seasonal variations and these ideas suit them too.
So here’s a colourful, warm and healthy salad that just happens to be also vegan if you’re following that regime. It is made with plump and juicy plums, sweet potatoes, chick peas, quinoa, spinach and nuts. You can add more protein if you like by stirring through some chunks of marinated tofu when you add the quinoa; and non-vegans can try adding slices of dry-fried halloumi or chunks of feta cheese (love both!).
WARM ROAST PLUM, SWEET POTATO AND QUINOA SALAD
500 g/1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
low-fat cooking spray or mist
6 plums, stoned and quartered (I used South African ones just coming into season)
400 g/14 oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp cumin seeds
50 g/1/3 cup whole almonds
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 g/8 oz packet or sachet ready-cooked red and white quinoa (or same weight of freshly cooked)
2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
4 tbsp fat-free vinaigrette (flavoured with a little wholegrain or Dijon mustard if liked)
- Preheat the oven to 200 C/4oo F/gas 6.
- Place the sweet potato on a non-stick baking tray and spritz liberally with low-fat cooking spray or mist. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Add the plums, chick peas, cumin seeds, almonds, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste, mixing well. Roast for a further 8-10 minutes, then allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, microwave or cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions (or warm freshly-made). Add to the roasted vegetables and plums with the spinach leaves and stir through.
- To serve, divide the warm salad between serving dishes and drizzle the dressing over the top.
WLS PORTION: ½
V suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians
CALORIES PER PORTION: 450
PROTEIN: 14.9 g
CARBOHYDRATE: 69.9 g
FAT: 13.3 g
Image courtesy of http://www.beautifulcountrybeautifulfruit.com South African Fruit