After last week’s cholesterol blow out, some healthy food today. Couscous cuts the bitterness of the quinoa, but feel free to use all quinoa if you like. And then pile on the flavours and colours. On the whole, fads of what we should and shouldn’t eat to live healthily ever after make me feel bolshy, especially the shouldn’t foods. Still, I’ve been known to eat a brazil nut or two because they cut ‘bad’ cholesterol. This is thanks to my father who, frugal man, ate just one nut a day because he thought it gave him enough selenium or whatever it was. No gorging on them just for the pleasure of their clean texture and deep flavour, then. I’ve also developed a taste for grapefruit juice. My nutritionist friend Suzan explained this increases the absorption of whatever you eat or drink at the same time. Perhaps avoid McDonalds or vodka at that point… Brazil nut with that, anyone?
double tomato quinoa salad
150 gr quinoa
75 gr couscous
100 gr feta cheese
50 gr sun-dried tomatoes, drained weight
parsley, mint and coriander, leaves from a small bunch of each
handful of nuts or seeds
olive oil to taste
juice from a small lemon or lime
salt and pepper
Measure the quinoa in a measuring jug and bring to the boil with one and a half times the volume in water. Do not add salt at this point. Simmer for about 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Allow to cool. (You can speed up this process by tipping it into a bowl.) Fluff with a fork.
Measure the couscous into a measuring jug and put into a bowl with one and a half times the volume in cold water and some salt. No cooking required: leave for 20 minutes then fluff with a fork and combine with the quinoa.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
Cut the dried tomatoes into bite-sized pieces with scissors.
Chop the herbs. Again, I would use scissors – put the leaves into a cup first, then insert the scissors to snip them.
Toast the nuts or seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until golden. Allow to cool, then chop if they are large.
Crumble the feta.
Pour the lemon or lime juice and some olive oil over the grains, then add the other ingredients. Mix with your hands or use a large spoon.
Taste for seasoning.
Serve in a large bowl. Or put into smaller plastic lidded boxes to bring on a picnic.
Chill if not serving straight away.