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Monday 28 February 2011

Sluttishly Vegan: Spiced Avocado, Carrot & Quinoa Salad

Quinoa can be boring if served plain, but if you just give it a bit of time and affection it works as a great canvas for other flavours. Quinoa is perfect for keeping vegans healthy as it's packed with protein, and it's also gluten free.

This is a substantial salad that works as part of a buffet spread or could be packed into a lunchbox and taken to work. If you make it ahead, soak the avocado slices in acidulated water (that's water with a bit of lemon juice in to you and me) to stop them discolouring. And make sure the avocado is nice and ripe, so it's easy to stone and adds a lovely creaminess to the dish. The quinoa acts as a base to hold everything together and soaks up all the lovely spices. What's not to love?

Spiced Avocado, Carrot & Quinoa Salad (serves 4)

You'll need:
  • 100g quinoa
  • 500g carrots
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tbsp Chinese rice wine vinegar (or substitute white wine vinegar)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 avocado
Make it!
  • Rinse the quinoa, then place in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Drain and leave to cool.
  • Peel the carrots and slice into 1cm discs. Put a saucepan of salted water on to boil. Simmer the carrots for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to steam dry.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion gently until it is lightly golden. Add the carrots, quinoa and all the spices, chilli, garlic, sugar, vinegar and lemon. Give a quick stir around, then take off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When ready to serve, slice the avocado into thin wedges and arrange on top of the salad.


  1. This sounds great - I may try it today!

  2. really delicious, tried it last night

  3. alexthepink's Mum6 March 2011 at 19:04

    I ate a good-sized portion of the very dish shown in this photograph and it was delicious! The creaminess of the avocado was a terrific contrast with the spicy quinoa grains - an excellent dish for a wheat or gluten intolerant person.


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