With the festive season in full swing, rich and heavy foods are all around us and very difficult to avoid. This is the perfect opportunity for sharing with you this Christmas superfood salad. I call it a Christmas salad only because it contains a generous serving of brussel sprouts in it, but really you can have it any time of year. For any brussel sprout skeptics out there, I would urge you to give it a chance. The sprouts are raw and so they aren't soggy and watery as is often the case with cooked brussel sprouts. Plus sprouts are so good for us, containing very little calories, having a very low glycemic load and being a great source of vitamins A, C, K and some of the B vitamins as well as fibre and antioxidants. Plus as they are raw in this salad, we don't lose nutrients through cooking them.
I had this salad for my lunch yesterday and again today and it is so light and easy to digest, but still quite filling (in a good way and not in a 'my tummy is bloated type of way').
Another reason I love this salad is because it contains the entire broccoli. The 'from root to stem' food trend is big news these days with a renewed focus on reducing food waste and with really high end restaurants creating dishes that contain the entire vegetable. I don't know abvout 'high end' but this salad definitely falls within the 'from root to stem' category of dish as we use the entire broccoli, brussel sprout and sweet potato. The broccoli florets are lightly stemed while the stalk along with the entire sprout is grated and eaten raw. The sweet potato is roasted with the skin on. Grating the broccoli stalk and adding it to salads is a great way of using it and throwing it in the bin just seems like such a waste of beautiful nutritious food.
This recipe serves four as a main or up to eight as a side salad.
For the salad:
2 cups of brussel sprouts
1 red onion
1 head of broccoli
3 sweet potatoes
2 cups of spinach
1/2 cup of lentils
1/2 cup of quinoa
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
2 cups of vegetable stock
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons of extra virgin of olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper
2 cups of spinach
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
1. Wash the sweet potato and cut into bite size cubes. Place in a baking dish with 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil and toss to coat the sweet potato with the coconut oil. Season with se salt and pepper and place in a 190 degree / gas mark5 oven for 30 minutes to roast.
2. Rinse the quinoa and lentils in a fine sieve. Add to a saucepan with two cups of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Prepare the broccoli by chopping off the stalk and cutting the head of the broccoli into small florets. Set aside the left over stalks. Steam the broccoli florets for 3 minutes and immediately place them in a bowl of cold water.
4. Prepare the raw vegetables by grating the broccoli florets, the red onion and the brussel sprouts using the grater attachment on a food processor or a box grater.
4. Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a jug.
6. Once the quinoa and lentils are cooked, drain them to remove any excess water.
7. To assemble the salad, take a large bowl and mix together the roast sweet potato, the steamed broccoli florets, the grated raw vegetables and the quinoa and lentil mix. add the dressing and mix a little more.
8. To serve, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan for four minutes, tossing halfway through. Cut the pomegranate in half and remove the seeds by banging hard on the outside of the pomegranate or using a fork. Spoon the salad onto each plate and top with spinach leaves, half an avocado, some pomegranate seeds and some toasted pumpkin seeds.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container int he fridge for up to two days.