By Hannah Maunder from Healthfection
This salad from Healthfection features a topping of pumpkin seeds, which make the perfect little snack and are also fantastic for you. They contain a pretty good amount of zinc which is great news for vegans and vegetarians, since a lot of dietary zinc typically comes from meat products.
Zinc is important for the absorption of vitamin C, a strong antioxidant which supports your immune system and your skin's glow. You might have noticed that vitamin C supplements are in conjugation with zinc – that's because it's pretty pointless to be consuming huge amounts of vitamin C if you can't absorb it all.
Pumpkin seeds also offer a unique combination of phenols which act as antimicrobials, which are also considered one of the most potent anti-fungal foods you can find.
For this recipe I've recommended cooking the broccoli in the microwave. I often cook my veg this way if I'm not really cooking anything else as it takes no time at all. I find it a lot easier to maintain that essential crunch that an al dente vegetable offers (I can promise that there would be little worse than a soggy piece of broccoli in this salad…). Microwaving also retains a lot of the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables which can be lost through other cooking methods.
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa or 1 cup cooked
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
100g spinach leaves
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, cut into chunks
Handful of pistachios
Handful of pumpkin seeds
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
Cook the quinoa as per the packet's instructions, then let it cool.
Place the broccoli in a bowl with a little water and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes, drain it and leave to cool.
Combine the vinegars, olive oil and mustard in a small bowl to make the dressing.
Once the quinoa is cool place it in a large salad bowl with the broccoli, spinach, red pepper, cucumber and half of the pomegranate seeds.
Pour over the dressing and mix it all together so everything is evenly coated.
Top it with the remaining pomegranate seeds, pistachios and pumpkin seeds.
An unedited version of this recipe was originally published on Healthfection.