Today was the first day of our 2-week Cleanse and Reboot. And so far, so good! Only 13 more days without alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten, soy, dairy and night-shade vegetables. But who’s counting!
As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. When things are taken away from you, you learn to cope with what’s left. And surprisingly, considering the aforementioned list of no-nos, we are actually left with quite an abundance of ingredients to use during this cleanse. It just takes a bit of creativity and breaking of old habits.
The salad below is one I prepared for my clients today. It’s nourishing and full of flavor and easy to make. We will be eating a lot of quinoa over the next 2 weeks (even enjoying it for breakfast) but the beautiful thing about quinoa is that it really takes on the flavors of what you prepare it with, making it extremely versatile. Butternut squash happens to be one of my favorite vegetables so I think it makes everything taste better! Plus, it is a great source of Vitamin A and antioxidants. Chickpeas are a great source of fiber and pomegranate seeds have too many health benefits to note! Plus, they add crunch and a tangy and sweet element to the salad that excites the palate. YUM!
So, if you feel like taking a dive into our cleanse or you are just looking for a super yummy, super healthy salad then look no further!
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2½ Tablespoons coconut oil or avocado oil, separated
- Cayenne pepper
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 cup (180g) uncooked quinoa
- 1 small-medium red onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 400g/14 oz canned or jarred chickpeas, drained
- ½ of a large pomegranate
- 2 Tablespoons chopped mint
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro/coriander
For the Raspberry Dressing:
- 50g/ 2 oz raspberries
- 1Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Baby spinach leaves or mixed greens
- Shredded carrots, thinly sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes (optional).
- Handful of toasted pine nuts.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons of the melted coconut oil or avocado oil and lay out on a baking tray. Sprinkle it, to taste, with cayenne pepper and salt and black pepper and roast in the oven until soft and nicely caramelized, about 20-25 min.
- Meanwhile, in a rice cooker or in a saucepan bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cover until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
- In a frying pan heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil and sauté the onions over medium heat until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, cumin, and coriander and sauté until fragrant.
- When the squash and quinoa are done cooking gently toss them together along with the onion mixture and the chickpeas.
- Stir in most of the pomegranate seeds, reserving some for garnish, and the chopped herbs.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz to a puree.
- Toss the quinoa salad with a little bit of the dressing and leave the rest on the side for serving.
- Make a bed of greens and scatter with your choice of veggies and top the greens with the quinoa salad.
- Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds and pine nuts over the top.