When it comes to lunch at the weekend I like to have something tasty, light and quick to prepare. My Prawn and Quinoa salad fits the bill on all fronts and is extremely nutritious too.
The Delights of Quinoa
I have to admit to being a recent convert to the delights of Quinoa. I’ve known about it for years, but found the idea of cooking a grain with a strange name a bit off-putting. Quinoa (pronounced ‘keenwa’) originates from South America and cooking it is as simple as covering it with double its volume in water and simmering until all the water has evaporated.
Unlike most grains, which are high in carbohydrates, quinoa is a complete protein, the quality of which is said to be better than that of red meat. When cooked the quinoa grains are light and almost translucent with a slight nutty flavour. It’s an excellent substitute for cous-cous and rice, or indeed any other starch. And the best part is that it’s gluten-free.
And so on to my Quinoa and Prawn Salad recipe. This serves 2.
One cup dry quinoa
175g cooked and peeled prawns
100g mixed salad leaves (spinach, rocket, watercress etc.)
12 cherry tomatoes
Small bunch coriander
2 spring onions
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
Place one cup of quinoa and two cups of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately 15 – 20 minutes or until all the water has evaporated and the quinoa has a fluffy, translucent quality.
While the quinoa is cooking, grate the carrots and mix in a large salad bowl with the mixed salad leaves, chopped spring onions and fresh coriander.
Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the mix – you can either eat them raw or cook them slightly with the prawns.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Optional: Add the tomatoes if you’re having them cooked and the thin slices of fresh red chilli if you fancy a bit of spice with your salad. When the tomatoes are soft, add the prawns and warm them for 2-3 minutes, until soft and pink. Keep the pan on a low heat and don’t overcook the prawns otherwise they’ll become tough. Sprinkle garlic granules, pepper and salt to taste on the prawns.
Add the cooked quinoa and the prawns to the salad bowl, drizzle with olive oil, squeeze the juice of half a lime and toss thoroughly before serving. I also recommend a glass of chilled white wine on the side. It is the weekend after all!
And there you have it – a delicious, nutritious lunch prepared in under half an hour. Bon appetit.