I am always thinking about how I can prepare low FODMAP vegies and fruits in new and interesting ways. Carrots have been calling out to me for a while. We’ve all had plenty of carrots cut into sticks, sliced and diced, steamed, boiled and baked. Lately though, I have wanted to make carrot the main ingredient for a salad.
This salad made a great side for a roasted chicken that I had marinated in Indian spices and lactose free yoghurt. I wasn’t cooking potatoes or any other carbohydrate, so the quinoa made a nice inclusion.
Quinoa is a good source of protein which, as I can vouch for after this meal, helps keep you feeling satisfied for longer (meaning I don’t go looking for dessert!) I cooked the quinoa with some gently toasted ginger, cumin and coriander, which gave it a warm spicy undertone. I spread the cooked quinoa out in a shallow bowl to cool before combining with the grated carrot and spinach and some chives.
I chose small-sized carrots for their sweetness. The salad was finished with a lemon and olive oil dressing and a scattering of chopped cashews. In all honesty, I don’t cook a lot of quinoa because not everyone in my family gets excited about it. So it was surprising to me that this salad was enjoyed by all around our dinner table. I noticed no one else went hunting for a snack before bedtime either; gotta be happy with that!
If quinoa is not to your taste, you could try using basmati rice, cooking it the same way as the quinoa without rinsing at the start. Instead of cashew flaked almonds would be nice. I think this salad would also be good with some paneer (Indian yoghurt cheese) or even grilled haloumi.
⅔ cup (135g) quinoa
2 teaspoons garlic infused oil
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 ⅓ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
3-4 (250g) small carrots, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
large handful (approx. 50g) baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped
cashews (see note below)
Rinse the quinoa well in cold water then drain in a fine sieve.
Heat garlic infused oil over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger and spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the quinoa and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the water, bring to the simmer, then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender and the water has been absorbed. Spread quinoa over a large late or shallow bowl and cool to room temperature.
Mix cool quinoa with the carrots, chives and spinach. Combine the lemon juice and oil and mix into the salad. Gently toast the cashews in a dry fry pan until golden and scatter over the top.
Please note: The recently published 3rd edition of Monash University’s “The low FODMAP diet” has now listed cashews in the high fructan and/or GOS list . The quantity in this recipe may not be problematic (2 tablespoon spread over 4-6 servings). However, if you prefer you could choose another nut, such as almonds, pine nuts, peanuts, or pumpkin seeds, noting that their serving sizes are recommended to be no more than 1 handful per serve.