Ever since I’ve tried quinoa in my salad, I have been enjoying every single grain of it! Needless to say whenever I feel like bulking up or adding a nice texture to my salad, it has been my go-to ingredient. The best part about this is I don’t have to feel guilty about it.
Pumpkin, Lentils & Quinoa Salad
About 3 servings as a main
- 1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled & deseeded
- 3 -4 garlic cloves, skin on
- 1/2 fresh chilli, sliced
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup boiling water
- 400g / 14 oz canned lentils
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- olive oil
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- salt to taste
- fresh coriander/cilantro leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 356 degrees F.
- Peel and deseed 1/2 a pumpkin. Dice into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes and place them on parchment paper lined baking tray as well as garlic cloves and chilli. Drizzle over some olive oil, cumin powder and salt and toss all the ingredients until well combined. Then bake them in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin feels tender and fluffy when pricked with a fork.
- While the pumpkin is roasting in the oven, pour 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of hot boiling water in a medium sized pot. Start cooking over medium high flame until it starts to boil. Then let it simmer by reducing to low-medium flame and cover with a lid. In the meantime, rinse and drain the lentils. Set aside.
- For the quinoa, cook until the water is ALMOST absorbed. When there’s just a little water left at the bottom of the pot (I’ll say about 2 tbsps worth of water left), turn off the flame and leave the lid on. This will allow the quinoa to completely absorb the water without sticking to the pot. Fork through the quinoa so that it’s light and fluffy. Set aside.
Note #1 – I actually cooked this based on the packet instructions so the water to quinoa ratio may vary depending on the type/brand of quinoa you are using.
Note #2 – Use a medium pot or a pot big enough to contain all the ingredients for this salad. This pot will be used to toss all the ingredients together before serving….or you’re not fuss over the dinnerware for serving (like moi), this pot can be your “salad bowl” too. Any chance you get to save on washing right? 😛
- Add lentils to the quinoa and toss gently until well combined. Season lightly with salt.
- Add roasted pumpkin, garlic (skin-off and thinly chopped) and chilli to the lentil-quinoa mixture. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to mix.
- Just before serving, garnish with some coriander/cilantro leaves. You can serve this salad warm or cold.
- And it certainly makes a nice packed lunch / picnic salad!