Friday 11 September 2015

Quinoa, cashew and honeyed carrot salad and Father's Day weekend

We don't have much of a garden!  Yet I was very grateful for my little collection of plants on the weekend when this salad got a bit much for me.  To be more specific, I was racing around trying to make it while getting ready to go out and had asked Sylvia one time too many to brush her hair.  Which took my attention away from the roasting cashews.  They burnt.  I was very cross.  At least I could go out and pick mint with Sylvia to calm us down.

It was a busy Father's Day weekend.  Sylvia took E along to her gymnastics class because it was Bring a Dad to Gym week.  According to Sylvia he said "ouch" a lot!  She had her friend and her sister visit for lunch and to set up a bed on the verandah.  After they left, Sylvia and I finished a daffodil project for Spring.  Then we checked out the chocolate selection at the new Coburg North Coles.

On Sunday morning I made the Quinoa, pistachio and honeyed carrot salad from the Coles supermarket magazine.  The magazine had sat in the house for weeks until I finally took it along to Sylvia's netball practice to read as I sat on the sidelines.  I was glad I did as this salad was just right to take to a family lunch.  It was gluten free, vegetarian and substantial.  And I had most of the ingredients on hand.  We don't have a lot of mint at the moment but were able to glean enough for the salad.  I didn't have pistachios but we had so many cashews I just used those.

Sylvia also found a lemon off the tree and helped squeeze them.  I was grateful for any help.  The salad wasn't too complicated but it did have quite a few steps.  So it took longer than I expected.

Once the salad was ready, we headed to the car to go out for Father's Day brunch with E.  At that point I found that E had less time before he went to a ukelele recording session that I expected so instead of being able to head home after brunch I put the salad in the boot of the car so we could go directly to my parents' house..

We had planned to visit True North but it was chockas.  Instead we headed up Sydney Rd to a little greasy spoon cafe called Twins.  I wonder if this is a common name for greasy spoons as I remember one in Carlton that we went to when I was a student.  The Coburg Twins is pretty basic but E enjoys an egg and bacon sandwich.  Sylvia had the biggest pancake I had ever seen.  She made a pool in the middle of melted ice cream and maple syrup.  I had cheese, avocado and sun dried tomato.  It was nice and hit the spot.

Sylvia and I arrived at my parents in time for lunch.  Everyone else was having fried chicken but I had falafel and Sylvia had roast chickpeas instead.  The salad went down well.  Erica called to Ashy to let her know it had feta in it.  Fran exclaimed how much she loves cashews and the carrots: she thought the carrots tasted like dried apricots.  We also had an asian coleslaw and roast potatoes.

Afterwards we sang happy birthday to Fran and Quin.  It is a busy time for my family.  Then we ate chocolate cake, red velvet cakes and pavolva.  Then our day ended as it started.  In the garden.  As we left my parents' house, Sylvia noticed the camelia tree.  She has been doing an assignment on camelias at school.  So we stopped to take a photo of the camelias and my mum gave her a perfect camelia to take home.  Which was just a pile of petals at the bottom of the car by the time we got home.  But like my life, it is the thought that counts even if we don't get it perfect!

I am sending this salad to Jac for Meat Free Mondays, Elizabeth for Shop Local (as well as our own mint and lemon, we used carrots from the CERES farmers market), Lisa (and Jac) for No Croutons Required, Lucy and Lauren for Fabulous Foodie Fridays #68, and Cindy for Gluten Free Fridays.

More substantial salads from Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Avocado, pickled ginger and tofu soba noodle salad (gf, v)
Couscous salad with chermoula (v)
Energising buckwheat salad (gf, v)
Leon superfood salad (gf)
Peasant potato salad (gf)
Smoky potato, bean and corn salad (gf, v)
Taco salad with creamy dressing (gf)

Quinoa, cashew and honeyed carrot salad
Adapted from Coles Magazine
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
2 large carrots, peeled, thinly sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons honey*
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 lemon, zested, juiced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
100g feta, crumbled

Preheat oven to 200 C.

Place quinoa in a saucepan with 1 and 1/2 cups of water.  Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes (covered).  Set aside covered for 15 minutes to rest.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Mix sliced carrots with 1 and 1/2 tbsp honey and 1/2 tsp of cumin.  Cook in oven for 15 minutes, turning occasionally until carrots caramelise (they will shrink a bit).

While carrot bake, place cashews on a baking tray and roast for 5 minutes until golden brown.  Keep your eyes on them (and your nose on the case) as mine were done just a bit before 5 minutes.

Heat oil with 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp smoked paprika until spices are fragrant.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in remaining 1/2 tbsp of honey and the lemon juice.

Mix dressing with quinoa, carrots, cashews and mint in a large bowl.  Scatter feta and lemon rind on top.  Serve warm or at room temperature

On the Stereo:
Word Gets Around: Stereophonics


  1. Poor camelia! The same happens here too. Remind me to tell you a story about Twins when I see you!

    1. Thanks Faye - there are many flowers that make their way into our place but fall apart everywhere - and I am a bit worried about your Twins story!!!!

  2. This is my sort of salad. Bookmarked!
    The weather is beginning to cool here now/ I am quite envious (already) that your spring is on the way. I need warmth!!!
    Sounds like another lovely family event for you all with lots of lovely food...

    1. Thanks Kate - you might be a little jealous it was 27 degree C today - I am not beginning to need to water my garden a bit more!

  3. I've never heard of the term 'greasy spoon'! I'm going to use that from now on. That salad looks really lovely! And I have always liked camelias as it was one of the first flowers I learned the name of , along with azaelias, cosmos and snapdragons and natives like bottlebrush and kangaroo paws. I have also been hearing a lot about camelia nut oil lately.

    1. Thanks Caeli - I always thought greasy spoon a British term as E uses it a lot but on Wikipedia they say it is American. I was never a big fan of camelias until we got our own bush and now I get very excited when it flowers. Maybe I like them now because I finally know what they are :-) Camelia nut oil sound intriguing

  4. I love a good sandwich and your one looked really good with lots of avocado! :D And hehe we don't have any sort of garden at all!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - it wasn't my best ever sandwich but not bad for a greasy spoon (I needed something other than cheese and tomato). It has been great growing a few herbs and some citrus in our garden as I have never been much of a gardener but this is probably enough for me for now

  5. This looks and sounds delicious even if the making of it had a few stressful moments. I would probably make it with cashews too because I rarely have pistachios, but I imagine pistachios would lend novelty if I could manage it. Homegrown mint is definitely a bonus too!

    1. Thanks Kari - pistachios are a lovely novelty when I do buy them - they often have really nice ones at farmers markets but unless I have an idea in mind I rarely buy it. Home grown mint is great - our mint is one the easiest and most robust herbs in our garden - even when it seems to have died it bounces back with a bit of water

  6. Busy, busy, busy as usual. I am still in awe as to how you do it, Johanna!!!

    I LOVE that salad! Perfect ingredients and that touch of mint, perfect! My mint is still thriving but I'm sure it will be ending soon. I will freeze some but it isn't quite the same.

    I had to laugh at your grasy spoon reference. Clear across the world and we have a few greasy sppons named Twins too, lol...

    Thanks so much for sharing, Johanna...I must apologize for not visiting as much as I would like too. Hopefully, I will be back to regular blogging soon...

    P.S. Sylvia is old enough for all those extra curriculums already??? So cute:)

    1. Thanks Louise - lovely to hear from you - and understand you have had lots on offline lately so just whenever you can. funny to hear you have greasy spoons named twins! And sylvia is not old enough to elect the sports she plays - the whole class does it! Which probably will help when she does get to elect sports.

  7. I love the Coles magazine recipes too! They're always really yummy. What a lovely healthy salad for Spring! Thanks for linking up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party!

    1. Thanks Lucy - I love to browse the Coles magazine and there are some real gems in there - it is where I found my favourite pancake recipe.

  8. Your salad sounds very delicious, I could easily make it vegan ;)
    Father's Day was recent? Ours is towards the end of June, I find it interesting to think that it is at a different time in other parts of the world.
    It sounds like a great weekend.
    "Which was just a pile of petals at the bottom of the car by the time we got home."

    1. Thanks Kimmy - I am sure this salad could easily be veganised - would love to hear how you would do it - I had thought that America shared Father's Day with us so I am obviously not quite up on it. And yes too many piles of petals (and other detritus)

  9. Everything looks amazing and it's all making me even more hungry!

  10. What a busy time you had. Loving the sound of the salad. I need to get back into quinoa. Thanks for entering it in Bookmarked Recipes, the roundup is live.

  11. I adore quinoa and eat it regularly. Thanks so much for your continued support for NCR. What a fine way to treat your family. The roundup should be up shortly.


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