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Gut Healing Quinoa Salad

Gut Healing Quinoa Salad with a lemon, ginger and herb dressing, topped with toasted nuts, seeds and pomegranate.

Gut Healing Quinoa Salad

I like it when my food looks pretty. How about you? This salad doesn’t just look good though.

It is indeed zesty and colourful and the flavours are scrumptious (I always feel like Mary Berry when I use that word) but it is so much more then that.. and the toasted seeds and walnuts add some delicious crunch. You know how I love texture in my food!  It’s also a great salad for Eid (we always have a Barbecue in the evening) or any occasion where there may be people around who would prefer a healthy side, but more then all of that it is a little nutrition powerhouse.

Yes..The flavours marry so well together in this gut healing quinoa salad but it goes way beyond just that.Talking of marriage, it’s the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today). (This post was written on the day but couldn’t be uploaded due to ‘technical issues’). It is such a nice feeling seeing everyone so excited about it. Also lovely to see some diversity in the royal family. 

Anyway, moving on. The other reason I really love this salad is because it works really well with things like Dahl, Chickpeas (the obsession continues), Meat based curries. Seriously, It is one of my absolutely favourite salads and it also happens to be Gluten free. You can of course change the flavours up too!

I have a slight obsession with pomegranate. I think it adds so much  flavour, bite and colour to salads. It is also super nutritious and one of the fruits of Jannah. Lately I have been adding them to everything! It helps that my daughter is as equally obsessed as I am.

So..you are probably wondering why am I posting about gut healing all of a sudden and why this gut healing quinoa salad?! Well basically it has always been on the cards because I am studying Naturopathy and Unani Tibb. Now that I am on the road to my exams, I want to change the focus of the blog to be around more then just recipes. I really really want to help people to understand Unani Tibb. I also really want to help people to heal as well as understand that the body has an ability to do it naturally.

I guess I should give a bit of background here. So what is Unani Tibb? Unani Tibb is a system of medicine based on the teachings of Hippocrates and Galen, subsequently developed into a comprehensive healthcare system by  Ibn Sina. Hippocrates main contributions to Tibb were the humoral theory and the concept of inner healing, or Physis. Health means harmony between the person’s characteristics, his or her lifestyle, and the environment. Disease occurs when this harmony is disturbed by injury, infection or faulty lifestyle. 

Hippocrates talks about the connection between the gut (‘All disease begins in the gut’) and overall health and as such GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is something that is pretty important in Unani Tibb. The idea with Gaps is that if you fix your gut you can also fix a whole load of other issues.

Tibb is focussed on the individual as a whole and part of that for some people, is fixing the gut. So this recipe is specifically for that. A bowl of it won’t cure gut issues but slowly incorporating some of these ingredients (especially the bone broth, black seed, ginger, cinnamon and quinoa) will begin to reduce inflammation and help to repair the gut. There are other benefits to some of the ingredients used in this gut healing quinoa salad recipe too. Some of which are discussed below:

Bone Broth: Treats leaky gut syndrome, Helps with overcoming food intolerances and allergies, Improves joint health, Helps reduce cellulite, Boosts immune system. The simmering of the broth also causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.

Pomegranate: The antioxidants in pomegranate juice can help remove free radicals, protect cells from damage, and reduce inflammation. Pomegranate is also a good source of Vitamin C, Improves digestion and is a powerful anti inflammatory.

Walnuts: Improve heat function, antioxidant, great for brain health and diabetes, boosts bone health and increases metabolism. 

Black Seeds: There are innumerable benefits of black seed (full post coming soon) but here are just some – Benefits the function of the liver, good for diabetics, anti inflammatory and helps to restore hair loss.

Pumpkin Seeds: Anti Inflammatory, good source of magnesium, zinc, omega 3 fats, helps improve insulin regulation, good for the heart and liver and promotes restful sleep. 

Sunflower Seeds: Great source of Vitamin E, Copper and Vitamin B1, anti inflammatory, good source of magnesium.

Quinoa:High in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

Ginger: Helps treat nausea, fight infection, great for joint pain, regulates blood sugar, protects against diabetes, lowers inflammation and is particularly useful for infections.

Cinnamon: High source of anti oxidants, contains anti inflammatory properties, helps fight diabetes, good for heart health, protects brain function, fights infection, helps fight allergy and good for skin health.

So just go ahead and make the salad! 

Gut Healing Quinoa Salad

Gut Healing Quinoa Salad with a lemon, ginger and herb dressing, topped with toasted nuts, seeds and pomegranate.

Course Lunch
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Quinoa

  • 1 cup Quinoa (170g), rinsed and cleaned
  • 2 cups Bone broth or stock (or 500ml)

Dressing

  • 1 large Lemon (Juice and zest)
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 inch Ginger crushed
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • Handful Fresh Thyme chopped finely
  • Handful Fresh Parsley chopped finely
  • Salt and Pepper

Nuts and Seeds

  • Handful Walnuts
  • 1 heaped tbsp Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp Black Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate Arils

Instructions

Quinoa

  1. In a medium pot over medium/high heat, add the quinoa. After 3-4 minutes (or after it begins to pop), add the broth. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer with lid on for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Dressing

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk well.

Nuts and Seeds

  1. In a dry pan over medium/high heat, add the walnuts. Toast for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  2. In the same pan, add the pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds. Toast for 3 - 5 minutes or until they begin to catch colour. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assemble

  1. Add the quinoa to a large bowl, pour over the dressing and fluff with a fork, top with the nuts, seeds and pomegranate.

P.s. If you don’t have or don’t make bone broth, feel free to use stock instead. Here is an article that talks a bit about the difference between the two. To boost gut healing properties even more? Add some Sauerkraut or Kimchi!

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