When I was a kid I hated broccoli. I would sit for hours at the kitchen table pushing it around my plate arguing with mum about why I had to eat it. It’s certainly not the most attractive vegetable and most people will say that it’s got quite a bitter taste.
But now that my taste buds have matured I’ve grown to LOVE broccoli. It’s cheap, healthy, bursting with vitamins and minerals and very versatile; it pairs really well with many meals.
This salad is a winner for anyone who, like me as a kid, isn’t too fond of the little green trees. It’s light yet surprisingly filling. The lemon gives it a beautiful tang and the nuts give it great texture and crunch. It’s also gluten free, high in protein and bursting with antioxidants. You can eat the salad on its own if you’re plant-based, or you can pair it with additional protein like grilled chicken breast or fish.
- 1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 spring onion stalks, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
- Optional: 2 x lean chicken breast fillets, sliced
- Optional: 100g Greek fetta
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- Prepare the lemon dressing: In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- To prepare the salad you can cook the quinoa in a saucepan and the broccoli in a steamer above at the same time.
- Prepare the quinoa by rinsing, washing and draining the seeds twice. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve so that the quinoa does not slip through. Washing the quinoa ensures you remove the bitter tasting phytochemical saponin.
- Pour washed quinoa into a large pot of water and bring to the boil. Cook for approximately 15-mins. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve and transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl.
- Whilst cooking the quinoa, steam the broccoli florets for approximately 3-mins. Be careful not to overcook the broccoli so that it is not soggy.
- Add the broccoli, spring onions, parsley and almonds to the cooked quinoa. Toss to combine.
- Optional: Crumble fetta through the salad and top with grilled chicken breast if you’re looking for extra protein.
- Taste and add additional salt and/or pepper if required.
- Enjoy immediately whilst warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.