I like to build my salads from the same basic elements every time to create a balanced and nourishing combo: a leafy green, a nutritious grain, a source of protein and an amount of healthy oils + lots of raw and cooked vegetables. I always prefer organic, local (when possible) and seasonal ingredients to make sure that the basic salad building blocks are of good quality. But it’s of course up to you whether you wish to do the same or not. Some basic ingredients that I use very often include baby spinach, kale, sprouts, quinoa/wholegrains, broccoli, pumpkin, tomatoes, chickpeas, avocado, Kalamata olives, sauerkraut…the list is really endless so I’ll just leave the rest of it for following posts. The main idea is simply to just whip up a big bowl of goodness using around the same amount of each basic “element” + an unlimited amount of veggies + an optional smaller amount of what I call “extras” such as sauerkraut or olives.
Anyways, this time I used the following elements:
Leafy green: baby spinach
Nutritious grain: amaranth (amaranth is a very tasty, glutenfree and protein-rich low-carb grain, pretty similar to quinoa from nutritional perspective)
Source of protein: edamame beans
Healthy oils: tahini, sesame seeds
Vegetables (+berries): pumpkin, zucchini, strawberries
Makes a pretty tasty summer salad!
Rainbow amaranth salad with sneaky strawberries
What you will need:
1/2dl uncooked amaranth
1/4 of a small Hokkaido pumpkin
1/2 of a small/medium zucchini
2dl frozen edamame beans
2 (or more) fresh strawberries
Himalayan salt to taste
1/2tbsp tahini (I use salted tahini for dressings and sauces)
1tbsp lemon juice
water to thin
How to do it?
- First rinse your amaranth and cook it according to package instructions (normally it takes around 25mins and the amaranth/water ratio is 1/3). Set aside to cool down when ready. Don’t worry if your amaranth turns out a bit sticky – it is normal and does not affect your salad taste.
- In the meanwhile, wash, chop and deseed your pumpkin (no need to peel Hokkaido pumpkins) and then steam the cubes or cook them otherwise until soft. Set aside to cool down when ready.
- Cook your edamame beans in boiling water and set them aside to cool down.
- Chop your zucchini into small cubes and slice your strawberries.
- Prepare your dressing while your cooked ingredients are cooling down (you can also put them in the fridge to chill them faster).
- When all your cooked ingredients have chilled enough, mix them with the zucchini and strawberries, arrange everything on a bed of baby spinach and then sprinkle your salad with sesame seeds and Himalayan salt. Enjoy with your lemon-tahini dressing!
- Simply mix the tahini and lemon juice together with a spoon and add a tiny amount of water to thin if needed. You can add some Himalayan salt if using unsalted tahini.
- Serve with your favourite salad or for example soba noodles.