Eating the Ayurvedic way means that crisp, cold and raw salads are not always the best way to get your five-a-day. Raw foods can be difficlt to digest and according to Ayurveda, cool salads should be reserved for the heat of the Summer months, when we will benefit most from the crunchy, refreshing goodness. Luckily for me I LOVE warm salads and adding cooked ingredients and healthy grains can really improve what can sometimes be quite a boring meal option. Salads are the ultimate customisable meal so ditch the lettuce-cucumber-tomato combo and look to more inspiring ways to enjoy salads. Healing Foods talks about food variety being of optimum importance when eating for wellness and that adding dressings, chutneys and spices to your dishes increases the molecular variety of the food your body digests, thus increasing the health benefits.
“Including more spices and herbs in your food can also boost it’s flavour and nutritional density: adding a handful of chopped fresh herbs to lettuce in a salad, for example, can add upp to 75 percent extra antioxidants to the food.”
– Neals Yard 2013:13
This recipe is perfect as a vegtarian main or as a filling accompanying dish to meat (For my carnivorous husband!) and works great as a nutritious packable lunch too.
Roast Beetroot, Walnut and Feta Cous Cous Salad
Serves 4 as a sidedish or 2 as a main.
1 cup uncooked Cous Cous
1 1/4 cup hot vegetable stock (I use a kallo organic stock cube)2 medium beetroots, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
1 cup spinach leaves, washed
A handful of walnuts, chopped and toasted slightly
A handful of fresh chives, chopped
100g feta or goat’s cheese, chopped into 1cm cubes
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat your oven to gas mark 4, 180 or 160 (fan assisted)
- Place your chopped beetroot onto a baking tray, season and drizzle over 1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil. Mix well and spread into a single layer. Roast for around 15 mins until tender, checking regularly.
- Meanwhile, place the cous cous into a large glass bowl and pour over your hot stock. Cover with a plate or tea towel and allow to sit for around 10 mins, until tender. Stir in the spinach leaves and cover for a further 5 mins to allow the spinach to wilt slightly.
- Once the beetroot is nice and tender stir into the cous cous and add the chopped feta, toasted walnuts and chives.
- Give it all a good mix and drizzle over a glug of rapeseed oil and balsamic vinger, season to taste. Serve onto warm plates and enjoy!
This recipe keeps really well in the fridge and is so versatile. Use any nut you like and why not substitute the beetroot for other root veg such as carrot, squash or parsnip? Supplement the spinach with any of your favourite greens – just adjust the method by lightly cooking hardier greens such as kale, prior to adding to the cous cous.
Question about this recipe? Feel free to comment below with your questions, suggestions and tips.