Since coming back from Canada, where I felt my sense of wellbeing skyrocket from the massive intake of delicious healthy food, I’ve been on something of a mission to reintegrate super healthy and delicious meals back into my weekly routine–not to say that the food I was eating before wasn’t good for me, but that it wasn’t quite as supercharged as the recipes I’m using now. Everyone loves feeling even more great than normal, and I’ve started off 2014 beautifully thanks to what I’m eating!
This recipe, one that’s supercharged by anyone’s standards, combines a few of my favourite things into one little plate of heaven: quinoa, kale, avocado and tahini sauce. The tahini sauce is one that was a regular fixture in our kitchen when I lived in Sydney, but as its quite difficult (and expensive) to get tahini here in Panama, it’s fallen off the radar somewhat. This week, though, I bit the bullet and got some, along with some gorgeous fresh kale, and I set about recreating this sauce. I first experienced tahini sauce at Fresh Restaurant in Toronto, and I fell in love.
With lemon, garlic, nutritional yeast (optional) and a touch of paprika, this sauce makes this whole dish. It’s light, filling, full of energy and packed so full of nutrients that you won’t know what to do with all your amazing feelings. And I’m sure I don’t have to bore you with details about why avocado is so amazing: It just is.
1 1/2 cups quinoa; I prefer red quinoa for this recipe
3 cups water / vegetable stock
1 large bunch kale, shredded
2-3 cups cherry tomatoes
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into strips
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 haas avocados, cubed
For the tahini sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp agave nectar
juice of 2 lemons
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Place the quinoa and the water / vegetable stock in a pan, bring to the boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed all the water and is tender
Stir the shredded kale into the quinoa in the pan, and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes
Meanwhile, place the tahini, water, paprika, garlic, agave nectar, lemon juice, seasoning and nutritional yeast (if using) into a blender or food processor and blend for a few seconds
In a large salad bowl, place the carrot, chickpeas and cherry tomatoes, then stir in the kale and quinoa mixture
Gently stir in the avocado and season
Serve onto plates, dust plates with black pepper then drizzle tahini sauce on top. Put the remaining sauce in a mini Mason jar and leave it on the table, for people to help themselves to more (people always want more)
Thanks to the robust nature of the kale, this salad actually keeps perfectly in the fridge overnight, so you can make this amount for just 2 people and enjoy it for lunch the next day. Oh, and did I mention that it’s gluten-free?
In half portions, this would be a gorgeous starter to a Lebanese-inspired meal. Aaaaand now I want falafel.