Roasted Parsnip, Almond & Date salad

Perfect Veganuary Lunch Idea

Date and dried apricot along with grated ginger in the dressing lend this salad a lovely warming Moroccan flavour. This salad is delicious with the parsnips and almonds still hot from the oven but also works well served cold if you want to take it for a packed lunch. Feel free to use parsnips left over from your Sunday roast and add the almonds as they are.
Parsnips are a root vegetable whose slightly nutty sweet taste is enhanced by roasting. Health-wise they’re a great source of pre-biotic fibre to boost levels of friendly bacteria and keep our tummies happy as well as an excellent source of slow releasing starchy carbohydrate. Adding the almonds makes sure you get some protein with your lunch particularly important if you are following a vegan diet.
I used a pre-cooked pouch of cooked quinoa to save time. Merchant Gourmet is a popular brand but most supermarkets have a good range of pre-cooked grains these days for busy people. One pouch will serve 4 used this way.

Dates and dried apricots are good plant sources of calcium

Ingredients
Serves 2
3 parsnips, top and tailed and cut vertically into bite sized spears
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp almonds
1 bag mixed green leaves
125g quinoa, cooked
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 pitted dates, chopped
2 unsulphured dried apricots, chopped
For the dressing:
1cm fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
juice of 1 small lemon
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Place the prepared parsnips into a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix well. Place in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and soft on the inside. Add the almonds to the tray for the last minute of cooking time; shake the tray well so the almonds are well coated in oil and seasoning.
  3. Meanwhile place the quinoa, onion, dates, apricots and green leaves in a salad bowl or divide into two lunch boxes.
  4. Mix together the dressing ingredients in a small jar.
  5. Once the parsnips and almonds are ready you can add to the other salad ingredients, if you wish to eat immediately. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss well. Otherwise leave the parsnips to cool and then add to the salad bowl or lunch boxes. Add the dressing when you are ready to eat.
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About Michelle Lake

Hi, I run Mission Nutrition, and I'm a nutritional therapist/ nutritionist helping people all over St Albans & Hertfordshire feel happier & healthier. If your diet needs an overhaul, come and see me for a nutrition consultation! Tel: 01727 893 042 / 01727 869 929 or email michelle@mission-nutrition.co.uk