Indy Power: Ready to be bowled over?
Roasted veg, quinoa and a tangy dressing make for a special meal.
Tahini veg bowls
This is a favourite lunch or dinner of mine. The dressing is a great one to keep in the fridge for other meals - it tastes good on everything.
Serves 4. Gluten free, dairy free & vegan
For the base:
170g uncooked quinoa
60g greens (kale, spinach, lettuce)
30g mixed seeds
For the roast vegetables:
2 red peppers
2 courgettes or aubergines
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
For the dressing:
60ml olive oil
60ml lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
2 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Sea salt & pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Add the quinoa and stock to a saucepan on medium heat. Pop the lid on and let it simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Then set it aside off the heat with the lid on.
2 Chop the vegetables and spread them out on two roasting trays. Sprinkle the paprika, cumin and a good pinch of sea salt over the cauliflower, then drizzle over some olive oil. Toss well. Repeat with the peppers and courgettes but use oregano in place of the spices. Pop in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes.
3 Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Toast the seeds in a pan on medium heat until popping and toasted.
4 Fill each serving bowl with some quinoa, greens and roast veg. Sprinkle over the toasted seeds and pour over the dressing.
I think it’s time for my quinoa workshop again — I know I’ve written about it before but that was when I first started this column, which is two years ago this Easter! It’s particularly important for recipes like this so there’s no better time for a recap on how to make fluffy, flavourful quinoa every time. The most important tip is that you must use stock rather than water. Pop the stock and quinoa in a medium pot with the lid on. Leave the quinoa to bubble on medium heat for 13–15 minutes, then check it. It’s almost ready when you can see only a little liquid and air pockets forming. When all the visible liquid has been absorbed take the pot off the heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Pop the lid back on for another 5 minutes, off the heat, to allow it to steam. Remove the lid and fluff once more before serving.
I’ve loved tahini for years but I recently bought the best one I’ve ever tasted — it’s a pale tahini by a Lebanese brand called Al Nakhil. It’s the runniest, smoothest, most flavourful one I’ve found. If you think there isn’t much difference between brands then you definitely haven’t tried this one! I got it in Fallon & Byrne (fallonandbyrne.com)and have quickly made my way through the large container and will have probably bought two more by the time you read this. I’ve used it a few different ways — dressings, marinades, energy balls and hummus — and there’s no going back. This is what tahini is supposed to taste like.