Monday, September 26, 2016

Superfoods Salad

Do you believe in superfoods?


What are superfoods?

According to Wikipedia, superfood is a marketing term used to describe foods with health benefits. For example, spinach and kale are known as superfoods because they are enriched with iron, vitamins, antioxidants and many beneficial nutrients. However, the superfood term is not casually used by dietitians and nutrition scientists as some believe that it is just a marketing term to promote health supplements.

Yes. I'm a believer of superfoods but not the over-the-top kind! Well... meaning that everything that I eat doesn't have to be superfoods! Like I always say, I'm the sort of person who like to stay energized and active by eating a balanced proportion of good food. Food that is fresh, least processed and must taste good!!!

When I first saw this superfood salad recipe from the book, The Dinner Ladies by Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood, I really love it! To me, it is such a clever way of bringing out the beauty of many superfoods like quinoa, spinach, edamame and sweet potatoes and transform them all into one real good food... so good that I would say just this vegetarian salad itself can be a fulfilling summer lunch or dinner.

I really like this salad. Do you?

superfoods salad quinoa sweet potato spinach edamame
Superfoods Salad by The Dinner Ladies

What are the superfoods in this salad?

Depending on how you would define superfoods, I would say that the superfoods in this salad are:

sweet potato
edamame (green soya beans)

If you are a salad person and also a believer of superfoods, I hope that you will make this meatless vegetarian salad. It is so good that my meat-loving husband said that he likes it too. My son? He said that he likes it with roasted sweet potatoes but not with edamame in it :p

One of superfoods that I have added in this salad.

Want to make this superfoods salad for you and your family? It's easy... Watch my one-minute video to see how I made my salad.

Like this salad and want this recipe? Although I have agreed to the publisher not to replicate the exact text of the book or show any photo of the book, I think that it is perfectly ok for me to share the list of ingredients and my simple instructions on how to assemble this salad. *Hint* *Hint* *Wink* *Wink* :)

Ingredients that I have used:

Serve 2 as mains or up to 6 as sides
(this is half the amount of the original recipe)

For the ginger-soy dressing:
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sesame oil
one 2 cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tbsp light soy sauce or more if required - I like mine with 2 1/2 tbsp
1 tsp honey or more if required - I like mine with 2 tsp
Note: For vegans, you can replace honey with malt syrup or agave syrup.

For the salad:
200g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes but I think I have cut mine a little smaller than 2 cm :p
1 tsp to 1 tbsp olive oil, to drizzle
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sumac
80g quinoa
150g frozen edamame (green soya beans)
1 spring onions, the green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 large handful flat leaves (Italian) parsley, leaves only, coarsely chopped
50g baby spinach
1 tsp silvered almonds, toasted
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Extra: 1/2 large handful mint, leaves only, coarsely chopped if you like, mentioned in the book but I didn't add this.

To assemble:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

To make the dressing:
combine all dressing ingredients. Taste and add more soy sauce or honey if required. Set aside.

To make the salad:
Place sweet potato, olive oil, salt and sumac in a baking tray and toss until the sweet potatoes are well coated with the other ingredients. Bake for 30 mins, or until golden brown and tender. Set aside to cool.

While the sweet potato is roasting, rinse quinoa well in a sieve and measure the rinsed quinoa in a measuring cup (mine is 3/4 cup). Calculate 1.5 x the volume of the rinsed quinoa and add the calculated volume of water  (mine is 1 1/2 cup) into a saucepan. Place saucepan over high heat and bring the water to the boil. Add the rinsed quinoa, cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low to simmer for 12 mins. Turn the heat off and with the lid on, let mixture to rest and stand for another 10 mins. If the water hasn't been completely absorbed, rest for another 5 mins. Remove the cover from the saucepan and use a fork to fluff and loosen the cooked quinoa. Transfer it into a bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it immediately to stop quinoa to cook further on its own. This refrigeration step is important because quinoa will lose its subtle crunch if it is over-cooked.

In another saucepan, add adequate amount of water plus a pinch of salt to cook in high heat until the water boils. Add edamame and cook for only 30 secs. Drain under cold running water to cool, then release the beans by squeezing the pods into a bowl.

To assemble the salad:
Mix quinoa with spring onions, parsley, mint (optional) and edamame.

Arrange the baby spinach leaves in a bowl and drizzle about 1 tsp dressing on it. Toss the quinoa with the rest of the dressing and arrange the quinoa mixture on top of the spinach. Top the salad with the roasted sweet potato. Sprinkle the toasted almond and sesame seeds on the salad. Serve.

Make ahead tips from the book:
1. The dressing can be made up for 1 week ahead and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
2. The roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa and edamame can be made up to 3 days ahead. The quinoa can be cooked, cooled and mixed with the herbs, edamame and spring onions and kept in an airtight container in the fridge, with the sweet potato in a separate container. The nuts and seeds can be toasted, cooled and kept in a small airtight jar up to l week ahead. To serve, bring the refrigerated sweet potato to room temperature before assembly and consumption and assemble accordingly.

Happy Cooking

Ta-Dah! This is my version of Superfoods Salad...
superfoods salad quinoa sweet potato spinach edamame
I love love love this SUPER awesome Superfoods salad!!! Do you?
I love love love this book too!!!
It is a cookbook full of family-friendly favourites.

Don't you think that most mums and dads are like supermen and superwomen? After our long tiring working days, we still have a massive list of daily chores to do... like picking the kids from schools and childcares, laundry, cleaning the house, dishes and COOKING! Plus cooking delicious and nutritional food for little fussy eaters??? Gosh! This is why the Dinner Ladies who are also mums of seven children, Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood came up with this book of fabulous recipes that can prepare delicious home-cooked food in advance and store them in the fridge or freezer so that we can serve dinner in a jiffy.

There are many family-friendly favourites to choose from this very practical book and here are a few examples of the classic home-cooked food. I know because I cooked heaps of these homely foods too :) and I can definitely see that this book is very handy to use for my daily cooking. And I absolutely love it!!!

Due to the newly informed copyright laws, I'm sorry that I can't show even a few glimpse of the cookbooks anymore!!! What a shame!!! ... as all I can say now is this cookbook is great and I would highly recommend this book :)

If you think that you need this book right now, you may wish to know that this book is available now in most retail or online book shops selling at the retail price of AUD$39.99.

Before ending this post, I like to thank Murdoch Books for giving me this opportunity to do this review. I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid to do this and like to share my most honest opinions with everyone who read this review.

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  1. Zoe.Thank you for sharing the healthy recipe. Next time try to slice thick slices of Sweet Potato not into rings but slice it lengthwise, then cut into strips then cube them, faster.

  2. Zoe, this looks like a very substantial and tasty salad. I have yet to try quinoa although I bought a packet and kept it until expired hah..hah...

  3. Oh yes, chia seeds are my super food & love adding them in my cooking! Would love to quinoa some day too, Zoe. Have a great week, dear! xoxo

  4. What a nice salad! Definitely super. :-)

  5. Superfood hmmm.... i cant say i am a believer in it and go huntingfor them but i do belive in eating healthy food and eating in moderation

  6. Hi Zoe,
    Seeing this superfoods salad of yours ... I know I need some discipline.