The simplest and quickest of all diet-conscious meals, requiring no culinary skills at all, but utterly delicious, and psychologically satisfying as it ticks all the boxes! The Asian-influenced dressing spices it up.
It feels a bit silly including this as a recipe, as it doesn’t involve any cooking at all, and the ingredients are imprecise and infinitely variable – but it’s become a favourite and has been important to me in helping resist my carnivorous tendencies. For the quantities here, it makes a meal on its own, but it can, of course, be served as a side salad, perhaps omitting the prawns or adding other veg ingredients.
For the version illustrated here, approximate quantities per person (adjust/omit any or all ingredients according to your preference!). Basically use whatever you can find in the cupboard or fridge that works….
- 50g cooked Quinoa (I used ready-cooked from a packet!)
- 15g Pine nuts
- 25g Cashew nuts
- 70g peeled and defrosted Prawns
- 2 Spring onions
- 1 Tomato
- ½ Avocado
- 6 Black Olives (pitted)
- 1 Sun dried tomato
- 1 dessert spoon Capers
- Fresh herbs (basil in the picture, because I had it, but coriander or parsley would be better)
For the dressing:
- 1 teaspoon extra light mayonnaise
- Juice of ¼ Lemon
- 1 teaspoon Soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon grated Ginger (or ginger paste from a tube)
- 3 or 4 fine slices of of Red chilli
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Chop the tomato and avocado into small cubes, and halve the olives
- If the nuts are raw (i.e. not already roasted and salted), toss them gently in a frying pan over medium heat until lightly toasted. Chop the nuts in half.
- Chop the sun-dried tomato, spring onions and capers
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
- Make the dressing. Remove the seeds and slice the chilli as finely as you can. Stir the lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil into the mayonnaise until completely mixed, then add the chili and ginger and stir again.
- Add the dressing to the salad, mix thoroughly and enjoy!