Warm Winter Salad

When the weather gets cooler, I generally crave warm, comforting meals. Especially at night. Rather than going for a pile of stodgy carbs (which doesn't leave you feeling that great), this salad provides warming comfort with a good serving of protein and nutrients to keep you feeling nourished and satisfied.

I used free-range chicken thigh mince in the recipe because it's economical and tasty. You could use free-range beef, lamb or pork mince if you prefer. Or if you're vegetarian or vegan, you could leave out the meat and perhaps increase the amount of quinoa used and add some more crushed nuts.

If you have leftovers, keep them in the fridge and take to work the next day for lunch. I ate the leftovers cold for a quick breakfast, but it's even nicer re-heated in a frypan (or in the microwave if you're desperate).

i n g r e d i e n t s

  • 500g free-range chicken thigh mince (I get mine from Cannings)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of ground chilli
  • 1/2 cup tri-coloured quinoa
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1 bunch of silverbeet
  • Large handful of cashew nuts (or another nut or seed), chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Coconut oil for frying

p r e p a r a t i o n

  1. Heat a large frypan over a high heat. Add the chicken mince, coriander seeds, garlic powder, ground chilli, sea salt and pepper to the pan. Break the mince up with a spoon and fry until the mince is cooked through and starting to brown and crisp up. (If your mince is very lean, you may need to add a little coconut oil to the pan). Once cooked, tip the chicken mixture into a large serving bowl and set aside.
  2. Rinse the quinoa well under running water, drain and then tip it into a saucepan with a lid (the frypan I use to cook the chicken has a lid, so I just use that). Pour 1 cup of water or stock over the quinoa, place the lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer with the lid on until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Tip the cooked quinoa into the serving bowl with the chicken.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, wash the silverbeet and cut out the stalks. Finely slice the stalks and roughly chop the green leaves. Throw the sliced stalks into the frypan (I use the same frypan for the chicken, quinoa and silverbeet) and sauté over a medium heat with a little coconut oil and a good sprinkling of sea salt until softened. Once softened, tip the stalks into the serving bowl with the chicken and quinoa. Add the silverbeet leaves to the frypan and toss them around until wilted. Once wilted, add them to the serving bowl too.
  4. Toss everything together in the serving bowl, have a taste and dress with a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper if required. To serve, top with chopped cashew nuts.

Serves 4.