Roasted carrot, mung bean, tomato and quinoa salad


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It was far too hot to go out today and that’s not something I often say. Unlike my toddler, I don’t much feel like rushing around and the absolute last thing I want to do is stand over bubbling pots of simmering concoctions in this heat.

Cue my salad of sweet roasted carrots, nutty pink (paprika- and turmeric-stained) quinoa, refreshing mung beans and juicy tomatoes, wrapped up in an umami-style miso dressing spiked with coriander, cumin, chilli and curry leaves.

So, instead of growing irritable in the park with kiddies galore and lugging around drinks, sun cream, hats and changes of clothes... we stayed in and washed mountains of lightly soiled organic vegetables.

I stood my boy at the sink and we chatted over the washing of gigantic and crisp lettuce leaves, shiny courgettes, bulbous spring onions, feathery-headed carrots (apparently Rory the rabbit loves them) and even broad beans, which we ate raw. I have to say, the flavours of the vegetables on their own are intense and a reminder that vegetables really don’t have to be just a side dish.

The carrots are the star of this dish, just look at them… intense in their wrinkly, roasted skins. A lot of people throw away the feathery greens but for goodness sake, keep them! They add fabulous texture to a salad and unsurprisingly, taste very carroty.

This is not posh nosh, but the quality and balance is there and you know, just making this salad with my boy has been an incredibly enjoyable and enriching experience.




Roasted carrots

  • 8 carrots, (medium sized), cut in half lengthways, reserve half the carrot tops
  • 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil, for roasting

Spiced quinoa



Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Coat the carrots with rapeseed oil, place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for approximately 35 minutes, or until softened and starting to char lightly at the edges
Meanwhile, place the mung beans in a pan and cover with water, Boil for about 20 minutes, then drain and set aside
Fill another saucepan with water and place over a medium heat. Stir in the turmeric and paprika and bring to the boil. Cook the quinoa in the infused water as per packet instructions
Finely chop the carrot tops and combine with the tomatoes, spring onions, the finely chopped garlic and the cooked quinoa, mung beans, and carrots
To make the dressing, heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and sesame seeds. Remove from the heat once the seeds start to sizzle
Add the ground coriander, cumin and lime juice and mix quickly to stop the spices from clumping together. Mix in the chilli powder, miso paste and a pinch of salt, then use to dress the salad and serve
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