Recently I’ve been experimenting more with oil-free cooking; not long term ofcourse but something I do once in a while to help re energise my body and feed it with as much fresh ingredients possible. Not to worry: I’m making sure to get plenty of healthy fat in other ways. I’m just enjoying the challenge of using foods close to their whole form, particularly fats. I thought I would share some of the results, since some things have come out pretty well!
Let’s talk salad dressing. A salad dressing has to have a certain amount of fat or thickness, otherwise it won’t stick to the salad ingredients enough. When it comes to oil-free salad dressings, there are a few options:
1. Base the dressing around nut or seed butter. One example is the tahini dressing or even peanut butter for any asian speing dishes out there.
2. Avocado! We can all agree that a salad topped with nature’s butter can’t be bad. Super yummy and creamy; compliments almost any food and has the perfect consistency.
3. Use ground flaxseeds or pureed beans to thicken the dressing. In the case of beans, you’ll want some healthy fat added to the salad. I haven’t tried a flax-based dressing yet, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it hopefully!
For this quinoa salad, I chose to go the bean-based route, with a touch of tahini. Adding some chopped avocado would be an excellent addition to this particular salad – if you don’t have them on hand, don’t worry it’s still super delicious.
Bell peppers are quite juicy and delicious right now, and together with the pineapple they make this salad so refreshing.
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sweetcorn, cooked/canned
1/2 cup chopped pineapple (mango works well too)
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cups black/kidney beans, canned/cooked
1/3 cup white beans, canned/cooked
1 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 roasted green bell pepper
1/2 cup fresh coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp 100% fresh orange juice
Himalayan salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
First make the dressing by combining the white beans, tahini, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Add the bell pepper and coriander with the spices, and orange juice, and blend until completely smooth.
Cook the quinoa according to package directions; cook until fluffy and soft.
Mix together the quinoa in a bowl with the red onion, corn, pineapple or mango, spring onion, bell pepper, and black beans.
Toss in the dressing and enjoy!