I’ve been lacking inspiration in the kitchen lately; I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I’m finding it really hard to cook anything interesting! I could lie and say it’s because I’ve been eating my way around Melbourne’s many vegan, vegetarian, raw/macrobiotic restaurants…(which I have) but I think a more accurate and truthful reason is because I’ve lost my cooking mojo :(.
Lately, my diet has consisted mainly of: greek yoghurt, nut butter (obviously), granola, bananas, pears, avocado, tempeh (I cannot get enough tempeh. My body c r a v e s tempeh! I might turn into tempeh, soon.) hummus (weekly purchases of 1KG tubs), German-style pumpernickel bread, carrots, and whichever protein/raw chocolate bar I’m trying that week.
When I’m not eating out, that is.
Those are the foods my body wants, so those be the foods I’m eatin’…when I’m not eating out, that is.
Last week I had company for dinner so I had to cook something…and this is when inspiration struck for the first time in what seems like ages!
Sweet and sticky chilli squid was the perfect pairing for a spinach salad with red & white quinoa, chunks of perfectly ripe avocado, fresh roma tomatoes and cool crisp cucumber.
This was so so good and totally filling on its own; although we had slices of pumpernickel, fresh olives and hummus as sides. I was so mindfully engrossed in my meal forgot to take a photo until halfway through – so the quality and lack of pictures for this recipe are a bit crap!
I used rice malt syrup as an alternative honey and maple syrup – I didn’t want the glaze to burn when cooking as it would’ve with the latter sweeteners because of their high fructose content.
Although summer’s coming to an end in the UK, Spring has just sprung in Melbourne and this is the perfect entree salad – when plated it looks quite beautiful too so it’s sure to wow guests when entertaining ;).
Sweet Chilli Glazed Squid Salad
200g washed baby spinach
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 avocado, diced into 1cm cubes
1 lebanese cucumber, cubed
200g fresh squid, cut into rings or 1.5 cm thick strips
1 cup Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
1TSP grape seed oil
1/2 cup malt rice syrup (or honey or maple syrup, but reduce to 1/3 cup)
2-3 tbsp ground cayenne pepper, depending on how much heat you want
1 tsp ground or chopped fresh garlic
Pinch of himalayan salt flakes
1 tsp of paprika
Ideally you want to have the squid marinating in the glaze for as long as possible before cooking. If you have time, make the glaze the night before and then cook the following day. If not, ensure the squid marinates for at least 20 minutes before cooking. To make the glaze, simply mix all the ingredients together and then add the squid, set aside and let marinate. To make the salad, get a large, flat plate or serving dish. Place the spinach as the first layer, then distribute the quinoa evenly on top. Next, add the Roma tomatoes and cucumber. To cook the squid, heat a large frying pan or wok and then add 1TSP grape seed oil. You want to be able to hear the sizzle when the squid hits the pan. Cook the squid for 4-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the squid pieces (the thicker the squid the longer time you’ll need to cook). Once the squid is done, pour over the salad (making sure you include any of the glaze left in the pan – this is essentially your salad dressing!) Finally, add the avocado on top.
Enjoy entirely on its own or with toasted slices of pumpernickel – delish!