Things have been a bit mad and busy since the start of 2015, and this week coming up is no different - I have started a weekend job in a beautician, I've got lots of planning and recipe testing to do for the upcoming Shake Awake event and it is my housemate and my birthday on Tuesday (!!). Juggling the blog, studying and my new job, I find that more often than not I need quick meals that can be assembled in advance, and it takes a bit of forward planning to keep the kitchen stocked with fresh and healthy foods. I stumbled upon this apple/walnut/fennel/kale combination completely by chance when trying to make up a quick lunch - the fridge was almost empty and I didn't expect my lunch to end up being half this delicious, but it turns out to be a real winner. As long as you have the quinoa pre-cooked you can throw it all together in a matter of minutes and the result is a truly satisfying bowl of green goodness. It is good to eat a mixture of raw and cooked veg, healthy fats and plant based protein, and this bowl has it all - the sweet apple and crunchy raw fennel go wonderfully with the creamy avocado and tangy tahini dressing, and kale and quinoa are my go-to salad bowl staples.
I know opinions can be a bit split on fennel because some people don’t like the aniseed taste, but I absolutely adore it and it has so many nutritional benefits. Its most commonly known as a great digestive aid and in India people chew on fennel seeds after a meal - I love drinking fennel tea after a big meal or whenever I have a tummy ache. It is thought to soothe the stomach and intestines as well as boosting nutrient absorption. This super little bulb also promotes healthy eyes, brain, blood pressure and fresh breath, among other things.
1.5 cups of cooked quinoa
1 small bulb of fennel
2 big handfuls of kale
1 tbsp of tahini
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
A pinch of sea salt
0.5 cup of walnuts
Steam the kale for a few minutes until soft. While that is cooking, core and chop the apple into cubes, slice the raw fennel thinly with a mandolin (or grate/shave using a vegetable peeler) and peel and slice the avocado.
Share the quinoa, avocado, apple, kale and fennel between two plates, then scatter with chopped walnuts.
For the dressing, mix the tahini, olive oil, vinegar and salt thoroughly and drizzle over the two salad bowls.