Welcome to 2017! I thought due to the New Years resolutions I’m sure have happened I should start things off for the year with a salad. A delicious, filling, nutritious salad with smokey grilled eggplant and a creamy tahini dressing – it’s a good one!
This salad is pretty easy to make, and if it’s a hot day it’s the perfect vegetarian thing to cook on the barbecue. Even if you’re not vegetarian and are having a barbecue throw the eggplant on while you’re resting your meat and you have an impressive vegetable laden salad to share as a side. Perfect! I love grating zucchini into grain salads, it’s a great way to get some extra vegetables in and also adds moisture, so your grains won’t end up dry. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be difficult, that’s definitely something to remember if you did make a New Years Resolution to do with health. It’s usually a pretty popular one.
So what was yours? I actually don’t usually make them because I usually just break them and feel guilty. And I’m pretty excellent at feeling guilty about silly things without creating that situation for myself. But this year I’ve decided to make one: Take more risks. Life is short and all that and I don’t want to be as afraid of doing things – both the big things and the little things. Not that 2016 didn’t involve it’s fair amount of risks but I think I can really up the ante this year.
Speaking of upping the ante: I have a month of travel planned in 2017! I’ll be flying with Etihad, thanks to an amazing deal I got, and heading to Europe and Morocco. If anybody has any tips for Spain and Morocco I’d love to hear them – especially if they’re about food!
Back to the food, this salad is the perfect way to change things up at your next bbq so take a risk, put vegetables where meat normally goes 😉
Serves 6 as a side
1 tsp salt
Olive oil for brushing eggplant
2 cups cooked quinoa
3 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup spring onion or red onion
3 Tbs mixed seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flaxseed – whatever you have)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs Tahini
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 tsp honey
1 tsp chilli flakes
Slice eggplant into 5mm thick rounds. Salt and set aside.
Combine quinoa, spinach, onion and seeds and toss.
Make dressing: Add tahini and yoghurt to a small bowl and stir well to combine. Add honey, lemon juice and zest and chilli flakes. Stir well and set aside.
Heat a grill plate or bbq, brush the eggplant slices lightly with olive oil on one side. Place oiled side down on the hot grill and cook for a few minutes or until grill marks have appeared. Brush the non grilled side with olive oil and flip. Continue cooking until eggplant is soft and tender.
Remove. You can serve it hot or cold.
To serve mix the egg plant slices with prepared salad and drizzle over dressing. Serve extra dressing on the side.
Tip: I use rosemary as my oil brush!