Jewelled quinoa and halloumi salad

Whether you're a vegetarian runner or not, this salad is a delicious source of protein and calcium - a must for rebuilding your hard-working muscles and bones.


Quinoa has a higher percentage of protein than other grains and contains all of the essential amino acids making it a perfect vegetarian source of protein.  It is rich in vitamins and minerals including iron, B vitamins, vitamin E and calcium. It can be used in the same way as rice and couscous.

(Related: 19 highest protein foods vegetarian runners can eat)


Ingredients

(Serves 4 as a starter or accompaniment)

For salad

200g quinoa

1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 bunch mint roughly chopped

1 small handful coriander, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, diced

5-6 spring onions, thinly sliced

100g pomegranate seeds

225g halloumi, sliced

For dressing

½ lemon, juiced

6 tbsp pomegranate molasses

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

Freshly ground salt and pepper


1/ Rinse the quinoa in warm water for 2 minutes to remove the starch.

2/ Add the quinoa to clean cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes, then test to make sure it is tendor before draining.

3/ Mix the quinoa with the chopped herbs (reserving a little for a garnish) and onions.

4/ To make the dressing, add all the ingredients to a small jar and shake until well combined.

5/ Add the dressing to the quinoa and mix it through with half of the pomegranate seeds

6/ Fry the halloumi slices in a pan until golden on each side. To serve, sprinkle the quinoa with the remaining herbs and pomegranate seeds and top with the halloumi.


Toral Shah is a nutritional scientist and chef - she has a BSc in Cell Biology from UCL and an MSc in Nutritional Medicine from University of Surrey. She is the founder of healthy food brand, The Urban Kitchen, and passionate about food which is delicious and nutrient dense; using seasonal and quality ingredients and helping people to enjoy incredible food and flavours everyday whilst ensuring that their health is optimised.  Toral is now working on her first book to share some of her innovative and tasty recipes.