I know I’m not alone in the food blogosphere when I look at old posts from what feels like a previous life, and cringe at every single photo and every second word I once put out there. I try to remind myself that nearly every food blogger who started back when photos of food taken with professional DSLR cameras were pretty much exclusive to print magazines and cookbooks, and when it was totally acceptable to feature iPhone photos on websites, has been there. Still, telling myself this doesn’t make me want to bury myself in a deep, dark hole any less when I revisit my blog after a ridiculous hiatus (AKA quarter life “WTF am I doing with my life?!” crisis – FYI I’m back for good now) and rediscover posts like this one.
I discovered last week that this recipe, which to my horror is still one of the most visited on the entire blog, hadn’t been touched in over four years. Unfortunately I can’t travel back in time and smack the iPhone 4 out of my hand, so I’ve re-photographed the recipe and deleted approximately 2,000 flimsy words. Thankfully, the recipe is still great. I’ve been making variations of it on a near weekly basis for years, and it’s always a hit.
BRB in 10 years when I’ve finished re-photographing the remaining 59 recipes. Ugh.
Fragrant Roasted Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad
Dietary info: gluten free & grain free, fructose friendly, low FODMAP, soy free. Contains nuts (almonds) & dairy (omit feta for dairy free/vegan option).
- 1/2 large kent/jap pumpkin, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
- 1 medium sweet potato or 1/2 large, washed, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks (see FODMAP notes below)
- 2 cups tri-coloured quinoa, rinsed thoroughly*
- 4 cups water
- 3 large handfuls baby spinach
- 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (always fragrant but not essential)
- 10 slices pickled beetroot (see FODMAP notes below)
- 1/4 cup flaked or slivered almonds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 3 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 cup Danish or Persian Feta, crumbled
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- EVOO or melted coconut oil
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 200*C
- Combine the ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika and garam masala in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place the almonds on a lined baking tray and place in the oven for 2 minutes or until toasted and golden. Keep a close eye on them after the 1 minute, 30 seconds mark – the suckers can go from raw to charcoal real quick. Remove from oven, place in a small bowl, and set aside.
- Place pumpkin and sweet potato in a mixing bowl and use your hands to coat the veg with 1/2 tbs oil (preferably coconut as is it more stable than olive oil when heated)
- Arrange the pumpkin and sweet potato on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with half of the spice mix and sea salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender and golden. Cooking times will vary from oven to oven.
- While the veg is baking, place the quinoa, water, thyme sprigs (if using), remaining spice mix and a generous sprinkle of sea salt in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to simmer, cover and leave for 15 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. The quinoa is ready when its germ (the little white ring around the outer edge) is exposed. Remove from heat, remove thyme sprigs, fluff with a fork, and set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, toss the quinoa, baby spinach, chives, coriander, lemon juice, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Top with the roasted veg, feta, and roasted almonds. Finish with an extra drizzle of EVOO, a squeeze of lemon juice, and coriander. If I have some on hand at the time, I also love to top the salad with some of my Mum’s homegrown pickled beetroot, however
*Quinoa has a natural chemical called saponin, which can be bitter to taste when quinoa is not rinsed thoroughly prior to cooking.
- Sweet potato contains moderate amounts of mannitol, so large amounts can be troublesome for people with polyol sensitivities. Once divided into servings, this recipe calls for less than the threshold recommendation, so you should be fine. If you’re unsure of your tolerance, simply omit and use more pumpkin. I’ve personally always been able to tolerate large amounts of sweet potato.
- According to Monash, up to 1/2 cup of pickled beetroot is considered safe for those with Fructose malabsorption and IBS, however I still like to moderate it because it is quite high in sugar and therefore not great for you or your gut microbes in large amounts 🙂