Roast carrot, quinoa and pomegranate salad (gluten free, vegan)

Food

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Roast vegetables are perfect during Autumn and Winter as they are warm, hearty and satiating. Here is one way to turn roast carrots into a salad that can be enjoyed throughout the cooler months of the year. The sweetness of the carrots works beautifully with the sweetness of fresh pomegranate seeds and the tartness of pomegranate molasses while quinoa and toasted sunflower seeds provide a lovely nutty flavour as well as a protein boost.

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3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 bunches Dutch carrots, peeled and topped

4 carrots, peeled and cut into thick batons (aim for the size of a Dutch carrot so carrots all roast evenly)

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs pomegranate molasses

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate

3 large handfuls of rocket

Salt and black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Spread sunflower seeds on a tray lined with baking paper. Lightly toast seeds for 7 minutes until beginning to turn golden. Set aside to cool.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add rinsed quinoa and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Place carrots in a roasting dish lined with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until carrots are tender but still retain their shape. Toss carrots with pomegranate molasses while they are still hot.

In a large bowl, combine the rocket, quinoa and roast carrots and toss. Transfer salad to a serving plate and sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds and pomegranate seeds.

Serves 4-8 (depending on whether it is enjoyed as a meal or a side)

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Variations and serving suggestions:

– Replace carrots with another roast vegetable such as pumpkin, sweet potato, cauliflower or brussel sprouts. These vegetables all work particularly well with pomegranate

– Enjoy this alongside your favourite protein such as roast or poached chicken, crispy skin fish fillets or felafel for a vegan option

– Add goat’s cheese or marinated feta 

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