Meatless Monday: Warm Quinoa, Potato and Orange Salad Recipe

I made this salad last night as part of dinner from bits and pieces I found in the fridge and pantry. It's not only vegetarian but vegan too!

Years ago, when I first started setting foot in a kitchen, I made mainly baked goods. To be more specific, those cake mixes you can buy at the supermarket. I started with these because I never had to worry about main meals (thanks mum!) and I thought they would be the easiest. Sadly I could not even make cake from the packet. I know......

Now I realise it's because I always over beat the batter and my mum would buy the cheapest cake mixes that always looked good when fresh out of the oven but were hard as a rock after a day. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why I didn't just give up then and step away from the oven!

I persisted and eventually I was starting to search up easy recipes online I could use. I stuck firmly to the recipes I had, believing that if I even turned the oven one degrees more than specified, my cakes would be ruined! Baked goods are unpredictable that way; they never look like the ingredients they started as. And that makes baking so magical to me. Nevertheless, I bought many ingredients I had to throw out in the end as I had no other use for them.

It took me YEARS to feel comfortable enough to start omitting and replacing ingredients in recipes! First it was with savoury dishes then with the sweets and now I'm finally feeling a little bit more comfortable writing up my own recipes. This is where this recipe came in. I'd only heard about quinoa a year or so ago and I hadn't made anything with quinoa in it for a while (despite my last post also being a quinoa recipe!) so I decided to make a salad. I had a browse online for some recipes and found most recipes had ingredients I did not have. I had no salad greens, no lemon, no meat. Yeh my fridge was quite barren..... The idea of a quinoa salad was already in my mind and I knew I could not let it go so I did what I could with what little I had. And it turned out great!

Maybe you've never heard of quinoa, maybe you're ready to try your first quinoa recipe or maybe you've made quinoa a million times. Whatever your quinoa knowledge may be, go look in the fridge and pantry and put whatever looks good in this salad with some quinoa. The more colourful and vibrant it is the better!         

For those that still want a recipe as a guideline continue reading =)

Warm Quinoa, Potato and Orange Salad 
Serves: 2 large serves
Preparation and Cooking Time: 25 minutes


1 cup quinoa
3 cups water or stock
Half a medium sweet potato
1 medium sized potato
1 small carrot
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 1/2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
Half a small avocado
Half an orange

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon oil from sundried tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Pre-heat oven to 170degrees celcius
2. Dice up sweet potato, potato and carrot and place them on a baking tray with foil. Give them a light spray with olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Put in the oven for 10-15mins or until light brown
3. Place 1 cup of quinoa in 3 cups of stock/water in a saucepan (I used vegetable stock as it gives the quinoa more flavour. Quinoa is very good at soaking up the flavour of stock!) Bring it to the boil then lower the heat so it just simmers for 15minutes or until the quinoa turns opaque and splits. Look at the picture. Most if not all the water should be absorbed. I don't think you can overcook quinoa anyway.... 
4. Dice half an avocado
5. Cut an orange in half and peel half then dice into segments. Cut the other half of the orange into segments and eat while waiting for the quinoa and roast veg to be ready!
6. Once the quinoa and vegetables are ready place them on a plate. Add the chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, avocado and orange.
7. Place the vinegar and oil in the salad and lightly toss the salad with a spoon. (You could toss in a bowl then place on a plate but I'm lazy and less washing up!) If you used stock for the quinoa there's not much need to add salt but flavour with salt and pepper as desired. 
8. Eat slowly. It's delicious, I promise!


Veggie Mama said...

Ah quinoa... I would marry you in an instant. This looks gorgeous. Love the idea of cooking in stock! Thanks so much for linking up xx

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