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Recipes, Food Styling and Photography by Bella Koh @catslavery

Dreams are made of quinoa. 
I first discovered quinoa back in 2009 at Life Organic Cafe during a Hong Kong work trip.
They served it up simply with a handful of mildly seasoned broccolis. Both super foods abundant in antioxidants.
Anyone who has had quinoa for the first time can attest that this teeny weeny minute, and almost insignificant seed that comes in ivory or dark red is highly addictive. 

Quinoa makes up most of my meals. I worship them. 
Not only are they high in antioxidants, they are also protein rich [Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.]
Replace them with your daily grains like white rice or brown rice. You'll discover the versatility of the quinoa in not just cooking recipes but baking recipes. 

The idea for the recipe below came from a recent visit to Grassroots Pantry in Hong Kong.

They added cranberries to a quinoa salad which entirely changed my mind about quinoa recipes.
The sweetness of the cranberries balanced out the slight bitterness of quinoa!
I went back home, excited to recreate the quinoa salad except that I added all my favourite nuts and seeds in there. 
This dish has now become a staple at all my parties.


Serves 4 as a side dish

    • 1 small organic pumpkin
    • 3 tbsp first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil 
    • ½ tsp sea salt
    • ½ cup cooked red and white quinoa
    • 3 pieces of whole dried bay leaves
    • ½ cup organic dried cranberries
    • ⅓ cup organic sunflower seeds
    • ⅓ cup organic pumpkin seeds
    • ½ cup organic chopped organic raw almonds 
    • ½ cup first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
    • ½ cup freshly chopped cilantro
    • 1 tbsp flaxseeds
    • 2 tbsp za’atar
    • pinch of sea salt and black pepper

    1. Preheat oven to 170°C
    2. Slice pumpkin into halves, scooping out middle. Slice them into wedges and drizzle with 3 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle salt and slow roast for 45 - 60 minutes or until the flesh is medium soft. 
    3. Boil water, bay leaves and salt in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat and simmer for 20mins. Remove quinoa from pot, drain out the water and set aside to let it cool. Discard bay leaves.
    4. Once quinoa is cooled, add in all the seeds, nuts, berries, olive oil, za’atar and cilantro. Mix well and taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
    5. Scoop mix quinoa onto the roasted pumpkin wedges and serve.