Salads, sesame and top 10 health tips.

Salads, sesame and top 10 health tips.

It’s been a super hot week here in Melbourne, so there have been salads galore. They are the perfect thing for a hot day, and also to use up any left overs that are hanging around. I usually work on a basic principle of combining a protein source with some crunch, and a fun dressing. So whatever I have in the protein stakes (tofu/tempeh, fetta, haloumi, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa etc), with some fresh leafy items, crunchy veg, some nuts or seeds to round out the protein, and a dressing including a lovely healthy fat of some kind (olive oil, flaxseed oil, tahini/nut butter, you get the idea). Including protein and good fat in your salads this way will keep your blood sugar regulated and will keep you feeling full for longer – creating a legitimate satisfying meal. Fab!

On Friday I was lucky enough to be featured on Jess Ainscough’s website The Wellness Warrior as a Friday Foodie. If you haven’t visited Jess’ site, make sure you check it out. She is an absolute inspiration and a wonderful person, and her site is full of educational and inspirational posts, videos and books, along with my favourite weekly inspiration board.

I decided to make this nutrient packed sesame noodle salad. The noodles are made up of buckwheat noodles, arame, and spiralised carrot and zucchini; combined with marinated tofu, fresh veg, coriander/cilantro and pepitas. The dressing is a ripper. For the full recipe, check out the post but do me a favour – add 1-2 tablespoons of lime/lemon juice to the dressing (a bit of a typo…). I also forgot to write the clove of fresh garlic for the tofu marinade in the ingredients section, but we won’t go there, I’m sure no-one noticed!…

If you have any left over dressing, it

Quinoa-tastic Tabbouleh

Quinoa-tastic Tabbouleh

How fabulous is quinoa? Its versatility, nutrient profile and deliciousness have made it almost a household name, and I see it appearing more and more in cafes, restaurants and several print publications. Just in case you may have missed the news, here is a recap.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a fabulous nutrient-packed food that you should try to sneak into your diet wherever you can! And here’s why:

  • It has an amazing nutrient profile; high in protein, B vitamins (in particular B1, B2, B6 and folate), iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and vitamin E.
  • It’s gluten free and lovely and easy to digest.
  • It is quick and easy to prepare.
  • It comes in red, black and white varieties to add colour and excitement to your meals!
  • It’s slightly nutty, slightly chewy, slightly fluffy and completely delicious!
  • It is a wonderful first food for babies mixed with vegetable or fruit purees. Note: pre-soaking the quinoa in water with a teaspoon of lemon juice for at least 6 hours will optimise digestion. Blend after cooking for young babies.
Quinoa flower

Cooking quinoa is similar to cooking rice. I prefer the absorption method.
Combine 1/3 cup of uncooked quinoa with 2/3 cup of water (or stock), bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for around 15 minutes. It will be translucent and plump when cooked. This will give you about a cup of cooked quinoa.

Go forth and add to soups, salads, breakfasts, desserts, and as a replacement to rice or combined with rice for added nutritional benefit. There are literally thousands of ways to use quinoa! Here is another fabulous idea – double broccoli quinoa from Heidi Swanson. So, back to the tabbouleh. Traditionally made with bulgur, I substituted quinoa and added fresh parsley, mint, basil, toasted