I don't have uni on Mondays and I don't work until the evening, so after meal planning on Sundays I like to take a few hours to prepare a few good meals and healthy snacks to get us through the week. I certainly love eating, and there is a kind of zen to be found in preparing good fresh food for yourself and those you love. I am by no means a culinary master mind. I pull my recipes from books we have laying around or the internet and tend to repeat a lot of favourites.
Today I'm sharing two recipes from this weeks menu: quinoa salad with asparagus and orange & coconut almond balls.
Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Dates & Orange
This recipe can be found on myrecipes.com.
I've modified it slightly, by using almonds in place of pecans and omitting red onion. I always make up at least one giant batch of salad that we use for lunches through out the week. This one keeps well and tastes fresh right to the end, thanks to the zest of the orange and the coriander.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup fresh orange sections (about 1 large orange)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (I used almonds)
5 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 pound (2-inch) slices asparagus, steamed and chilled
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Mint sprigs (optional)
1. To prepare salad, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add white onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add quinoa to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Transfer quinoa mixture to a large bowl. Add orange and next 4 ingredients (through jalapeño); toss gently to combine.
2. To prepare dressing, combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with chopped mint. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Coconut Almond Balls
Protein balls are officially the best thing ever invented, and they are so easy to make! They are a staple on my snack menu. One batch makes up to 8 balls, which are perfect for the 3pm cravings through the week.
These balls are adapted from the gorgeous Tiffany Hall's latest book, You Beauty.
1 Cup almond meal
2 tabsp desiccated coconut
1 tabsp coconut oil (melted)
2 tabsp coco or cocao powder
1 tea spoon vanilla essence
6 pitted dates, finley chopped
1. Place all ingredients in blender/food processor. If the mix is too dry add water until it hold together.
2. Lay out extra desiccated coconut on a plate. Roll balls into round shape using hands & roll in desiccated coconut to finish.
3. Place in tupperware container in the freezer for a few hours, then move them into the fridge and enjoy!