Gluten-Free and shamelessly delicious
Spring for me goes hand in hand with light meals. Salads are a staple during the warmer months and I notice that if I make a salad with a lot of “substance”, Mr.BWML doesn’t seem to scourer the pantry afterwards in search of food. Our household eats it’s fair share of meat, however 2 months ago I had a crazy gluten attack from a wheat bag and since then, was instructed to lay off meats, legumes and anything that requires a lot of effort for my body to digest. Although I have since then blown up like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka (I kid you not, I went from a size 10AU to a size 16AU in a matter of a day and since then it has been an uphill battle to get back to my normal shape), the silver lining in this situation is that we rely less on red meat which gives our digestive systems a rest, I get to meddle with more vegetables and I spend less time at the butchers where the shop is as cold as a refridgerator WIN WIN WIN.
My nutritionist said that my skin absorbed a terrifying amount of wheat which will take a while to leave my body. I have noticed that since eating lighter meals, I am not as fatigued as I normally am after a gluten attack. I still find it hard to concentrate which is a major problem come my exams in 2 weeks however since removing red meats out of my diet and mainly eating seafood and chicken, I noticed that my concentration levels have improved at a faster rate than previous attacks. I have seen so many people underestimate the problems associated with gluten intolerance. Some people say it is not a real problem. I say if you feel it or see it… It’s real. Yes on the grand scheme of things this intolerance is a first world problem however the repercussions of this illness is seriously damaging to your body, your wardrobe and for some, their self confidence.
If you suffer from gluten intolerance’s, what are your symptoms like? Do you have a pack of clothes dedicated to gluten bloating? I noticed that some people are luckier than others which makes me very jealous! But in saying that I hate the idea of people being so uncomfortable and sore so I actually feel better knowing not everyone gets as sick.
This salad packs flavour with minimal effort. The natural juices of the vegetables, particularly the tomatoes, really make this dish self sufficient. Can’t really say self-saucing but I figured self-dressing is a better description. You can roast any vegetable that you have laying around. I have used zucchini and eggplant before which are beautiful additions and if you have lots of odds and ends of vegies, like a stir-fry just throw it in.
Roast Vegetable Quinoa Salad
(Serves 4 entree sized portions)
1 cup of medium cubed pumpkin
1 cup of medium cubed sweet potato
1 cup sliced red capsicum (thumb sized slices)
1 small punnet of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 shallots medium sliced
Salt to taste
Juice of half a lemon
2 big handfuls of fresh basil roughly chopped
½ cup quinoa cooked in 1 cup water (See directions below for how to cook this)
Extra virgin olive oil (just under ¼ cup)
1 tbsp dried oregano
Preheat oven to 180 C
Prepare a large baking tray with baking paper or a silicon mat.
In a bowl combine the pumpkin, sweet potato, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, shallots, oregano, a healthy amount of salt and the olive oil and toss to coat the vegetables.
Transfer vegetables to the baking sheet and use a spatula to make sure you don’t miss out on any olive oil.
Cook in the oven for 45 min or so until tender.
Meanwhile for the quinoa, rinse well and cook in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes until cooked.
Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
To make the salad, in a bowl combine the quinoa, roast vegetables (with olive oil and vegetable juices), fresh basil and lemon juice.
Toss to combine and taste test for seasoning.
NOTE: This salad is delish both warm and cold and tastes even better the next day!