Easy-to-make, healthy bacon braai salad
If you didn’t already know, quinoa (keen-wa) is one of the latest ‘super foods’ to take the world by storm.
It’s packed full of all kinds of goodness, high in protein, calcium, iron and fibre (amongst others) and low in fat. And because it’s a simple, humble cereal crop it’s also wonderfully accommodating of almost any flavour combination that you can throw at it – an ideal blank canvas for any meal.
If you go to braais dreading the gloomy potato salads and old-school grated carrot salads that might await you, swan in with one of these and that will keep you smug and happy as you sip on your cocktails all sunny afternoon long.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa finds its roots in the Andean areas of South America and has been an important staple in their diet for over 3000 years.
It was beloved of the Incas, and they called it ‘The Mother of all Grains’. It’s price has tripled in the last 7 years, which means it’s not necessarily that budget friendly, but with lots of delicious salad bits added in, like I’ve suggested below, a little bit goes a long way.
Try my quinoa, pea and bacon salad with goats cheese recipe.
Top tips and variations
1. Although I do think of this as a complete meal, we sometimes serve it alongside something light such as grilled trout or healthy chicken skewers.
2. Instead of the peas and bacon, or in addition to, you could stir through baby spinach leaves to wilt as the quinoa steams once it’s cooked, as well as crispy fried chorizo bits.
3. Shred the meat of a roasted chicken (can be store-bought) and add that in along with a little roasted butternut and red onion, make a quick honey-mustard dressing and you have another salad feast.
4. Use beautiful red quinoa instead of the creamy wheat-coloured kind and add in cubed apple or pear, raisins and salted cashew nuts with lashings of fresh herbs for a pretty and delicious new dish.
Sarah Graham is author of Bitten and blogs with us on Food24. Follow her on twitter @foodieliveshere.