Light quinoa salad with pomegranate and soft lemon dressing

Christmas is all about lights and meals and in spite of the pandemic, it’s good to put yourself in the Christmas-y mode and prepare a nice meal -even if you celebrate alone with your dog!

You don’t need to make extravagant preparations! You can always have a nice and simple Christmas meal and if you focus on plant-based options, you can keep it healthy and energizing! Like this salad, which is absolutely beneficial for gut microbiome and the immune system and you can keep it in your diet even after holidays!

You can use this vegan salad with quinoa and pomegranate as a side dish, but after holidays you can even make it your main course those days you want to eat something light, tasty and healthy at the same time!

Gather all the ingredients you need, put on your apron and let’s go!

1 cucumber peeled and finely chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 carrot cut in thin strips (julienned)
1 cup of uncooked quinoa
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup of nuts (crushed in mortar) – no pitty!
2 tbsp chopped mint
(optional) some dill
juice from 1 lemon and its peel
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
½ garlic clove crushed

Make sure you soak quinoa for a few minutes and then rinse with hot water until you see the water is clear. Put your quinoa in a pan with medium to high heat and cook while you stir, until it smells like roasted nuts and its color gets darker. At that point, add water (about 1 ½ to 1 ¾ water for 1 cup of quinoa). Let it boil and then lower the heat, cover your pan and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. If there’s still water, strain it or wait till it is absorbed.

Let your quinoa “rest” for a while leaving a clean towel on top and then cover with a lid for about 10-15 minutes –the lid traps the heat while the towel absorbs humidity.

In a large bowl, mix quinoa with your already cut vegetables and herbs (cucumber, red pepper, carrot, mint, dill) and then add the pomegranate seeds and nuts.

Prepare your dressing by blending lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, the crushed garlic and the lemon zest.

Add your dressing to your salad, mix and enjoy!

Add pomegranate seeds to your every-day diet plan as they are rich in vitamin C which supports the immune system against viruses and diseases and they have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Support your immune system, your gut microbiome and your general health by checking out the nutrition plans in, carefully designed by Despina Marselou, Dietitian specialized in clinical Nutrition and Immunology, with years of education and training, that have given her the ability to create personalized Plant-Based (Vegan) protocols for patients with autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation.