A friend of a friend needed some more bodies for paintballing at her Hen Do, and I said, “Why not?!”. I think I can safely say we’re all friends now, having shot at each other, ganged up on the Terminator together, and protected each other from people taking it all a bit too seriously.
Anyway, I digress: picnic. My lovely friend (one of the bridesmaids) said since I was getting up so early (I was traveling from Fife to Paisley…) she’d make us a picnic. A healthy, protein-filled picnic as it turned out. And very good it was too.
The basis of the salad was quinoa – a seed, rather than a grain (don’t let the germ freak you out). She used lemon olive oil (lemons were crushed with the olives in the making) and red wine vinegar as the dressing. And cashews (toasted), chopped fennel, bell peppers (none for me!) and rocket mixed through.
It was fab! Very moreish – I couldn’t put it down! And a bit of a luxurious treat while sitting in the car at the paintball centre.
Quinoa is a good alternative to couscous and bulgar wheat when making a filling salad like this one. It’s gluten free too! But it does need a helping hand with the flavour – unlike couscous and bulgar wheat it does have a slightly funky flavour. Hydrate it using stock, or add a flavoured oil to the dressing. Squeeze some lemon juice over it, or add lots of fresh herbs. And leave it to marinade for a while in the fridge before eating to let the flavours seep into the quinoa.
And then shoot people with paint. Or something…