TRY THIS REFRESHING PROTEIN-PACKED QUINOA AND FIG SALAD

Quinoa is a good source of fibre, folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and B vitamins. It has an amino acid score of 106, which indicates a complete or high quality protein. Quinoa is also a good source of carbohydrate, containing roughly the same amount of carbohydrate as a 100g portion of cooked brown rice. Prepare this salad for family this weekend.

Recipe by: Vanessa Marx

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

1 cup white quinoa

2 cups water

8 purple figs, cut into quarters

100g walnuts, raw and unsalted

200g mixed salad greens (rocket, baby spinach, watercress)

½ cucumber

120ml extra virgin olive oil

50ml white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp smooth Dijon mustard

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Put the quinoa and water into a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Cook the quinoa with the lid on for about 20 minutes, until it expands and opens slightly. Remove from the heat and strain off the excess water. Season the quinoa with a pinch of salt and leave to cool. Roast the walnuts on an ovenproof tray for about 10 minutes; check on the walnuts now and then to make sure they don’t burn. Remove the nuts from the oven and leave to cool. Using a peeler, peel the cucumber to make long, thin ribbons. Peel around the cucumber, using only the firm outside parts. Discard the middle part of the cucumber with the seeds, or eat as a snack.

TO MAKE THE DRESSING:

Whisk the vinegar, honey and mustard in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl, while continuously whisking to combine. Assemble the salad greens on a large plate or platter. Sprinkle the cooled quinoa over the salad leaves. Arrange the figs and cucumber ribbons on top of the salad. Sprinkle the roasted walnuts over the salad and drizzle with the dressing. Serve as a light main course or as a healthy side salad to your favourite dish.