Roasted Butternut Quinoa Salad

Butternut Quinoa Salad

When people ask me what my go-to gluten free, yet easy to make, lunch is, I tell them quinoa. It takes around 10 minutes to make and you can either make it that day or the day before and keep a tupperware full in the fridge for a few days. You can also add to it whatever you happen to have in the fridge at that time. In order to make it a bit more filling, I added butternut squash to it this time. You can add some grilled halloumi too, if you fancy, I just wanted to keep this one dairy-free. Quinoa is such an amazing source of protein that you don’t need to add any meat or fish (you can if you want to – if it’s organic of course 🙂 ) But you don’t have to all the same. This will give you all the protein you need.

Ingredients

Quinoa (add as much as is needed for the amount of people you want to feed)
1 butternut squash
Half a cucumber
3 spring onions
2 fresh beetroot, steamed and chopped
Generous handful of cherry tomatoes
2 carrots, shaved into ribbons through a potato peeler
Handful of pine nuts
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch salt (I used Oryx desert salt here)
Black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions. When it is ready, transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.

While this is happening, peel the butternut squash and chop into bite-size pieces. Transfer onto a prepared oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spoon to make sure all pieces are coated by the oil.

While it’s in the oven, chop up your vegetables and add them to the bowl with the quinoa.

Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir well, then take the butternut out the oven and add to the top.

Serve straight away or wait until cooled and keep in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Roasted Butternut and Goat’s Cheese Salad

Roasted Butternut & Goat's Cheese Salad

Most days I make myself a big salad for lunch. I had some roasted butternut and brown basmati rice left over from dinner the night before, so I made this delicious and filling salad. I generally don’t eat dairy but I do love to have goat’s cheese every now and then. I buy chèvre from the Organic Emporium, which is made from the milk of goats who roam freely on the Witteberg Mountains.

This is not so much a recipe as just telling you how to throw it together…

Firstly cut up some butternut and drizzle it with olive oil. Sprinkle ground cinnamon, ground cumin, himalayan salt and a little bit of coconut sugar over it. Roast at 200 C for 30 – 40 minutes until tender. Allow to cool.

In a big bowl combine baby spinach leaves, rocket, mini rosa tomatoes, cooked brown basmati rice, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and the goat’s cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the cooled butternut and toss to coat everything with the oil and vinegar.

Health and happiness!

Love,
Raine

Butternut & Sage Pasta

Butternut & Sage Pasta

This is a quick and easy family dinner – I literally only had 35 minutes to get food on the table, and that included writing the recipe and taking a photo!

I am in love with sage… it’s such a versatile herb and the tangy, lemony flavour really comes out with roasting. It pairs beautifully with butternut, which is high in beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Ingredients (serves 4)

850g butternut (weighed without the skin or seeds)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some extra
1 tsp himalayan salt
15 cloves of garlic, cut into quarters
big handful of fresh sage
250g gluten-free organic pasta (I used amaranth, but you could use buckwheat or quinoa)
1/2 lemon
2 heaped tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

Method

Cut the butternut into cubes. On a roasting tray, toss together the butternut, olive oil, salt, garlic and sage. Roast at 200 C for about 30 minutes, until tender.

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Toss the butternut and pumpkin seeds through the cooked pasta. Add some more olive oil if it looks too dry. Season to taste with lemon juice, himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper. That’s it!

Health & happiness 🙂

Love,
Raine

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlicky Spinach

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When you first go vegetarian or vegan, it can be a bit stressful, especially if you are short of time. That’s because we’re so used to being able to ‘stick a steak under the grill’ or ‘put a chicken in the oven’ or ‘grill a chicken breast’ and so on and so forth. I got stressed about it myself when I first went fully veggie this time last year, which is why I try to come up with EASY vegetarian meals. I still have to cook meat for my husband, so it would be a hell of a lot of work if I was making highly intricate meals for me along with his meals. What I try to do is either a variation of whatever he’s having, or something simple, especially during the week when it’s all rush rush rush. But on nights like last night, he is more than happy to be part of vegetarian night because the food is so good!

I love butternut squash, I probably cook it in some variation at least once a week (by the way, speaking of butternut squash, you must try Raine’s Butternut Gnocchi!) Butternuts are high in fibre, low in calories and high in Vitamin B Complex which I need lots of for my nerve problems caused by long-term arthritis. They are also high in polyphenols (like acai berries and blueberries) which are great anti-oxidants. An all round brilliant vegetable!

Ingredients

1 butternut squash (half per person)
1 small bag of spinach
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt

Method

Preheat your oven to 180. Cut the ends off the butternut and cut it in half, lengthways. Place it on a baking tray and bake for about an hour.

Take it out the oven after an hour and remove the seeds with a spoon – they should come out really easily now – and throw them away. Drizzle a little olive oil and salt over it and put back in the oven for half an hour.

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Meantime, cook the spinach by heating 1 tsp of the oil in a saucepan. Once it’s hot, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the spinach, in small batches, along with some salt. It wilts to nearly nothing so a whole bag will end up just about filling the holes of the butternut. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes (should be less) for the spinach to be ready. Leave to the side, remove the butternut halves from the oven and fill the holes with the spinach. Serve on its own or with any accompaniments you choose. I served it with my vegan falafel, homemade tahini and some avocado.

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Peace and Love!
Lauren