Super tasty meets super healthy. Not something you read every day, right? This salad has become an absolute favourite in our household - it is inspired by an old clipping out of a magazine supplement, but just as happens with dishes you make over and over again (we have this almost every week), it has been adapted, improved and reached a point where you just sleep-walk your way through the recipe, using some main components but also throwing in whatever you might have left in the fridge.
I normally add some avocado, but as per usual all I could get at the supermarket that day was either so hard you could easily kill someone with it or completely mushy - so I threw in some green asparagus which we're also eating like mad at the moment. I vary the herbs a lot, using dill or basil, always coriander, though, simply because I am addicted to it. The prawns and quinoa are a constant, but it would taste equally nice with some pan-fried or even smoked salmon.
Quinoa is a relatively recent discovery of mine, I had tried it on various occasions and always completely overcooked it. Ever since I discovered I could steam it in my Thermomix, which takes all of 20 minutes and doesn't need any attention at all, I make quinoa at least twice a week - a big batch of it, too, so that I can throw some into a tasty salad, add some to a, say, tomato soup and feed the kids with it as well. Perfectly versatile and super healthy: as well as being a comforting carb, it is one of the few non-meat products that contain all your essential amino acids. Plus it contains more protein than beef, balancing out your naughty carb fix niftily!
Quinoa, prawn & asparagus salad with coriander & lime dressing
(serves 4 as a light meal)
100 g quinoa grains
400 g raw, shelled prawns
1 tbsp ghee (or butter)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
2 cm red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped) - optional
6 spring onions (sliced, incl. greens)
200 g green asparagus (or tenderstem broccoli)
2 handful black olives (stonedstones removed)
20 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 handful dill or basil
1 ripe avocado (optional)
juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
4 lime halves to serve
Steam the quinoa with a little sea salt for 20 minutes or prepare to packet instructions. (I prefer steaming as there is no way for it to get mushy and slimey.) Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, heat the ghee (or butter) in a frying pan, add the crushed garlic and chopped chilli and fry for about a minute until fragrant, but not yet browning. Dry the prawns with some kitchen towel, then add to the pan. Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side, taking care not to overcook them - you want them to look a pale pink/orange all over, no grey, transluscent bits remaining. Take the pan off the heat, transfer prawns to a bowl and leave to cool there.
Meanwhile cook or steam the asparagus (or broccoli) for about 5-7 minutes, they should still have a bite. Refresh immediately in ice-cold water, then drain, pat dry and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Chop the herbs roughly, peel the avocado (if using) and cut into bite-sized chunks. Combine all the ingredients in a large salad bowl, drizzle over the olive oil and lime juice, season to taste.
Serve with a lime half per diner in case more tanginess is required.