Sunday 10 January 2016

Happy New Year, Happy New Things and a Nutty Quinoa & Roasted Kale Salad

Happy New Year everyone!

Hope you had a spectacularly awesome holiday period with your loved ones.

My goodness, I can't believe it is 2016 already!  Where has the time gone? Looking back it has been a couple of months since I last posted. Well, have I got lots of catching up to do with you, dear readers.

They say things in life often happen in threes.

Luckily, it was three good exciting new things that have come our way.  

Life changing, mind blowing, wondrous things.

1. I finally graduated from my medical degree and completed my reincarnation as a lawyer turned doctor. 

2. We've moved from our beloved wonderful windy Wellington, back to Auckland to be closer to family because.....

3. This happened:

We are expecting a little one in a few months! Ahhhhh unbelievably exciting!! We are beyond thrilled.

Needless to say things have been a crazy roller coaster ride in the last few months! Last med school exams, packing and unpacking, and then starting as a junior doctor in one of New Zealand's biggest hospitals. I also totally drew the short straw and had to work right through Christmas and New Years.  It has been a huge scary exhausting learning curve.

And when you are working long hours and you don't have a whole lotta time to eat/sleep let alone cook elaborate meals, you want quick easy dinner recipes like this awesome Nutty Quinoa and Roasted Kale Salad in your repertoire.

It's inspired by a delicious salad that was served at a trendy little hole in the wall cafe in Wellington Hospital (they do awesome coffees too!).  It's wonderfully nutty loaded with roasted nuts and seeds topped off with a fresh light lemony zing.

Serve it as a side with grilled fish or chops or make it as a light lunch meal - it will make your insides feel good.

Nutty Quinoa & Roasted Kale Salad

serves 2

1 cup quinoa

1 bunch kale, washed, leaves torn into rough bits.

1 cup natural raw almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 red onion, very finely sliced into thin half moons
1/2 cucumber, cut in halves lengthwise, then cut into thin half moons
1 avocado, cubed
handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters 
1 big handful basil, roughly torn

canola baking spray

1 clove garlic very finely diced
5 Tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 large lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste)
freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large saucepan, cook the quinoa in plenty of hot water (at least double the amount of quinoa) and boil for 10-15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool / dry a little. While it's cooking preheat your oven to 200oC.

2. Line a baking tray with tin foil and spray with canola baking spray. Spread the almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds evenly over the foil, spray generously then sprinkle with salt. Bake at 200oC for 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

3. Turn your oven own to 180oC. In the same tray, re-spray and spread the kale evenly, lightly salt. Bake at 180oC for 5-6 minutes.

4. Make the dressing by mixing up all the ingredients together, season to your taste. In a large salad bowl, mix together the kale, spring onions, red onion, cucumber, avocado, cherry tomatoes and basil with the dressing. Divide into servings, sprinkle the roasted almonds and seeds evenly. Serve on its own or with grilled chops/fish/chicken/steak yum yum.

Note: You can substitute the kale with just a leafy salad


  1. Wow, congratulations on both your graduation and the baby, Nessie! So exciting! And it will be so nice to be back near family I'm sure - it's my biggest problem with living in Wellington. I hope pregnancy is kind to you, it can be a balancing act for sure. I'm so thrilled for you!

  2. Congrats on graduating, the move and the baby. Big exciting things! I hope the transition back to Auckland has gone great and the pregnancy is going smoothly.



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