Quinoa, Red Pepper and Pomegranate Tabbouleh
Here is a fantastic quinoa salad to have on hand over Christmas, beautiful rich twinkling colours, full of antioxidant-dense nutrients (read on for more on that…) from the pomegranates and of course the protein packed quinoa, which helps balance blood sugar levels keeping you feeling full but not lethargic… sounds just about the perfect salad doesn’t it?
250g quinoa (I used the mixed reds, blacks and white)
2 red peppers
1 yellow pepper
(1 garlic clove and a sprig of thyme to roast with the peppers)
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 fresh pomegranates (or 2 tubs of pomegranate seeds)
Pre heat your oven (and roasting tray) to about 200^ for roasting the peppers.
Bring the quinoa to the boil in a pan of cold water and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked but still retains some bite.
Drain and set aside to cool.
While the quinoa is cooking, place your peppers in your preheated roasting tray with a couple of tbsp. of olive oil, an unpeeled clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme. Roast until the peppers are softened but still retains some bite, 10 minutes or so.
Discard the garlic and thyme but keep the lovely scented oil.
Add the peppers and the garlic/thyme scented oil to the drained cooled quinoa.
Add the pomegranate seeds
Add a handful of fresh chopped coriander
Toss everything together with your hands, the olive oil from the peppers and the fresh pop-tang-kapow from the pomegranates serves as a dressing by itself, you can of course season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
This would be perfect served with cooked ham or leftover turkey on boxing day and I’m just going to put it out there now that I will be serving this on Christmas day itself, so pretty will it look on the table! So road test this now guys and let me know what you think!
Potent Health Benefits of Pomegranates
Pomegranates are in season at this time of year although you can of course also buy the little packs of seeds. To get the seeds out of a fresh pomegranate, cut it in half, lightly pull the bowl shaped halves apart a little, cracking them softly to release the seeds from the claws of the pith and then turn the pomegranate-half upside-down over a large bowl and tap, hard, with a wooden spoon, watching the seeds come tumbling out!
Pomegranates have got to be up there as one of the original Superfoods. And don’t just take my word for it, research Reviews espouse the potent antioxidant benefits of pomegranates for the prevention of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, reduction of oxidative stress, hyperglycaemia and inflammation markers and for the prevention and treatment of several cancers (Zarfeshaney et al. 2010). Greater in anti-oxidant activity than either Green Tea or Red wine,(both of which I’m certain will also feature over the Christmas period)! pomegranates are rich in anthocyanins and will make for a really beneficial addition to your diet at this time of year. Clink on the link below for more information on the cited article.
*As always with the potent superfoods, be aware of contra-indications with certain medications includingWarfarin and ACE inhibitors where it may have additive effects.
Zarfeshaney et al. (2014) Potent health effects of pomegranate. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/ [Accessed: 25 Nov 2016].