People ask me all the time where I get inspiration for my recipes, and of course, that ends up requiring a bit of a lengthy reply. Cookbooks and food blogs of course inspire me, as do my own taste buds and whatever happens to be in the fridge when I decide to cook, but more often than not it’s a simple trip to the farmer’s market or grocery store. I sometimes ignore what’s in season to feed a craving, but it’s always much more rewarding to work in tandem with what nature has to offer. It forces you to get those creative juices flowing and perhaps cook with unfamiliar ingredients – I made a lasagna with celeriac noodles the other day and… mind blown! Plus, seasonal produce tastes WAY better and lets you feel good (and just a little smug) about doing your part to support local farmers.
This recipe came about entirely because I went to my local organics store, The Sweet Potato, and pomegranates were on sale. I bought them without knowing what I would do with them (other than perhaps mow down on them by their delicious lonesome selves), but then I started thinking about how much I love pomegranate in salad and brainstormed rom there.
This salad is pretty easy to pull together and makes a perfectly portable lunch. Served with some avocado and sunflower sprouts – feta would be lovely too, I’m sure – it’s the kind of one bowl meal that makes most vegetarians grin. It’s also the perfect recovery meal from all those heavy Christmas dinners! I dunno about you guys, but I’m feeling like I could use all the fresh greens I can get!
You can easily make this nut free by omitting the pistachios in favour of some roasted sunflower and sesame seeds.
Quinoa Tabbouleh with Pomegranate and Pistachios (serves 2-4)
~ gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, soy free, nut free option ~
For the salad
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, slightly cooled (just over 1/2 cup uncooked)
- 1.5 cups parsley, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup mint, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions, diced
- arils from 1 pomegranate (comes to about 1.5 cups)
- 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios
- sliced avocado, sprouts, feta (optional)
For the dressing
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
- In a larger bowl, toss together the quinoa, parsley, mint, green onions, pomegranate arils, and pistachios.
- Slowly mix in the dressing until everything is evenly coated – this may leave you with a bit of leftover dressing, but better that than the salad is soggy. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Serve with the sliced avocado or feta, and fresh sprouts.