How about I start posting more really quick and simple recipes that are ideal to take to work for your lunch? Whilst I work from home, Dave doesn’t and I am very concious of sending him to work with something filling, healthy and delicious that doesn’t take too long to make. If it is too much effort, he is going to end up going to work with a boring sandwich – I am sure many of you can relate to that.
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Now, I can’t take total credit for this recipe, as I inspired by a dish I ate in Sweden when I went on a press trip a couple of weeks ago. Sure, a quinoa salad is not the most traditional Swedish dish, but delicious none the less. It was just a very quick trip to Sweden, but it was my first and I can’t wait to return. I was staying in the pretty university town of Lund.
My trip to Sweden started off in the best possible way with a trip to a vineyard. Whilst we were at the Fladie Mat and Vingard, we got the chance to use their kitchen and help with cooking our meal for the night. It make a nice change from my small and dark kitchen. We were split in to team and were responsible for different dishes. I was on a team with Becca from Amuse Your Bouche, who has a fab vegetarian food blog.
Our team was in charge of dessert, which many people said was the best part of the meal. I mean, what can I say? Dessert was passion fruit cheese cake with crumble, vanilla ice cream with white chocolate chips and a chocolate dipped seed bar. The other 3 courses were lobster soup with smoked salmon, saffron aioli and pickled red onion with a parmesan straw, followed by fried cod with hollandaise sauce, salsify carrot puree and parma ham crisps, followed by roast venison, garlic, savoy cabbage, red wine sauce and rosti potatoes. Everything was amazing.
Being at a vineyard, there was of course wine. As you all know, I have given up wine for the month. I have wanted to go to a vineyard for so, SO long and the first time I do it is during the month I am not drinking. Typical! But, I was strong and I didn’t give in. Lucky for me they provided me with some non alcoholic wine that was made at the vineyard and I was very happy. I have never had non alcoholic wine before, but it was really good.
I was invited to Sweden by Tetra Recart, who are the first carton based package for retortable food, making it a great alternative to cans and glass jars. You might not think you know what Tetra Recart packaging is, but it is those cartons of passata your probably buy and more and more brands are starting to move over to this kind of packaging. This makes me happy as it is SO much better for the environment. The Tetra Recart package weighs 64% less than a can. Multiply with the daily consumption in your country and you get the picture: Save tons in resources, carbon emissions and transportation.
It’s not just about the environment though, think about the cans you buy and how you store them in your kitchen. Cans are much heavier, meaning the shopping your carry back from the supermarket is heavier. Not only does buying Tetra Recart packaging make it lighter, but it makes stacking everything in your cupboard easier too, as all the cubes fit together neatly. Never again to you have to have cans falling out of your cupboard. They are also easy to open and much safer to open if you are a total clutz like me and struggle opening cans. More than 150 brands have made the switch and I really hope that keeps on growing.
We also had a tour round the packaging factory and whilst to some that might not seem like the most fun thing in the world, I am a bit of a geek and I found it fascinating. It’s one of those things you never think you – you use packaging every day but never think about how it gets all put together. Looking at everything going through the machines was memorising at times.
One of the best parts of the factory tour was meeting the in house chef that helps develop some of the foods that go in to the packaging, which meant that we got to try some of the foods they package.
The top left salad is where I got the inspiration of my quinoa salad recipe. Tetra Recart pack a quinoa mix that you can just add to your own salads. It isn’t available in the UK yet, but I am hoping that it will be soon, after more people get on board with stocking Tetra Recart over cans and glass jars.
I am loving pomegranate in salads at the moment. They add a nice bit of texture and then you get a little surprise when you bite in to one and get a burst of flavour. It’s a good low calorie way to add more flavour to your salads. And to think that I used to hate any kind of fruit in my salad – what was I thinking?
Ingredients – Serves 2
– 60g quinoa
– 50g rocket leaves (arugula)
– 1 red pepper, diced
– Juice and seeds from 1 pomegranate
– 170g cooked pinto beans
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
– 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
– 60g feta
– 10g fresh parsley, chopped
1) Rinse the quinoa and add to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 25 minutes.
2) Drain and add to a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Nutritional Information – per person
Are you are fan of fruit in your salad?
Have you ever been to Sweden?
**I was a guest of Tetra Recart in Sweden, but all opinions are my own**