I spent the last week recipe testing and to sum up the experience in one word, I’d say it was “difficult”. That’s probably too nice a word to explain it all, but lets just stick with “difficult” haha. Everything I tried making seemed to fail me – burning food, check. Dropping food, check. Undercooked food, check. Weird combinations that sounded great on paper but didn’t work out in reality, check. I didn’t feel like I could do anything right which was a bit of a blow to my confidence. Luckily for me my husband deals with most of my disasters and will give anything a taste, regardless of the dismal state. He can be my biggest too-honest critic but also my biggest support. I appreciate his feedback when it comes to my recipes and he’s a great help in my creative process.
As a result of my week of complete failures, my husband shared this advice – just go back to the basics Laura. Cook what you know and go from there. And he was right (don’t tell him I said that!). When you’re going through a cooking rut there’s no better way to get back on track than to cook what you know best.
I decided to ease my way back into the new week with a fresh and filling salad. This salad is a no fail recipe. Unless you manage to burn your quinoa, there’s really no way anyone can get this one wrong. If I can get it right after a week of chaos, you are a million times more likely to get this one perfect!
This salad contains minimal ingredients that can easily be thrown together when you’re in a rush. It’s even quicker if you’re into meal prepping and have your vegetables washed and cut in advance. Make sure that when you’re cooking your quinoa, you wash it under warm water before you add this into the pot. Rinsing removes the quinoa’s natural coating (called saponin), which can make it taste bitter.
What’s your favourite salad combination? I’m always on the look out for new, vibrant salads to try.
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
- 1 beetroot, chopped into matchsticks
- 400g chickpeas, washed
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 3 cups arugula, washed and chopped
- 1 red onion, diced
- Handful of pistachios and raisins
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook 1 cup quinoa, to 2 cups water in a medium pot. Leave simmering for 15 minutes, fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to sit for 5 minutes.
Mix celery, carrots, beetroot, chickpeas, arugula, red onion and quinoa in a large salad bowl.
For the dressing, combine lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and basil.
Pour dressing over the salad and mix, making sure that it is distributed evenly.
Season with salt and pepper.