This is no ordinary salad! Satisfying and super nutritious, it’s packed with slow-releasing carbs, a hefty dose of protein and plenty of unsaturated, healthy fats; just what you need to sustain energy, keep muscles healthy, reduce inflammation and support the immune system during training. By all means, cook your own quinoa, but my guilty little secret is a stash of pre-cooked quinoa to crack open for a quick lunchtime salad. Quinoa contains all eight of the essential amino acids (protein), plus fibre, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and iron. Squash is an excellent source of carbohydrate to include in your training diet; rich in the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C and vitamin B6, fibre, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
Nutrition per serving
Energy (kcal) 535 Protein (g) 22
Carbohydrate (g) 53 Fat (g) 29
Of which sugars (g) 4.8 Of which saturates (g) 6
Salt (g) 0.6 Fibre (g) 8
You will need 2 baking trays, a chopping board, a sharp knife and a frying pan.
Prep time 10 mins | Cook time 25 mins
- 1 small queen squash or ½ butternut squash
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 200g cooked quinoa
- 200g Baby chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 100g Watercress, washed, stalks removed
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
- 125g pack Buffalo Mozzarella
- 50g Whole hazelnuts, halved
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Plenty of salt
- Freshly ground black pepper or 3-4 pink peppercorns, crushed
- Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then cut it lengthways, into wedges. Place the squash wedges in a bowl, drizzle over 1 tbsp oil and shake around so that they are well-coated with the oil. Lay the wedges onto a baking tray, sprinkle with a large pinch of sea salt, a few grinds of black pepper, the ground cumin and coriander. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until soft and slightly caramelised. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5 minutes (watch you don’t burn them).
- Heat a frying pan to medium, add a splash of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until cooked to a golden brown. Reduce the heat a little, add the quinoa and stir gently with the mushrooms until it is warmed through.
- To prepare the dressing, whisk the oil and vinegar to combine, adding a pinch of salt and some black pepper.
- Now you are ready to arrange the salad. Either serve on one large plate or 4 individual plates. Spoon the quinoa into the middle of the plate, then arrange the watercress and squash slices around the edge. Scatter over the mushrooms, mozzarella, sliced chilli and toasted hazelnuts, drizzle with the dressing and serve.